Cops: Ex-Des Plaines man stalked Selena Gomez
October 18, 2011 (DES PLAINES, Ill.) (WLS) -- A former Des Plaines man is accused of making threats against singer-actress Selena Gomez.
Police say the alleged stalker has a history of mental illness as well as a criminal record.
A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against 46-year-old Thomas Brodnicki. Investigators say he flew from Chicago to Los Angeles, trying to meet Gomez.
Neighbors in Des Plaines, where the man grew up, say he hasn't lived there in several years. And not many of them knew him, but they were surprised to hear he was accused of stalking the Disney star.
According to legal documents, Brodnicki told a psychiatrist he had conversations with God and entertained thoughts of killing Gomez. He's also accused of traveling to L.A. from Chicago three times to try to meet the 19-year-old at her workplace.
Brodnicki apparently told doctors these things while he was being held for psychiatric observation for threatening people on the street, saying he would scratch their eyes out.
"When you have mentally unstable individuals who make disclosures to psychiatrists that they want to murder an individual, you have to take that seriously," said Dana Cole, attorney.
Brodnicki has a history of stalking women. He served jail times for stalking a waitress who worked at the Sugar Bowl restaurant in Des Plaines. Police say Brodnicki even reached out to her from jail, asking her to drop the charges.
"He is very persistent in his claims and certainly didn't buy into the fact that it was against the law to be doing what he was doing. He felt it was God's will to proceed the way he was," said Chief Jim Prandini, Des Plaines Police Department.
Brodnicki was also sentenced to three years for cyber stalking a Mt. Prospect woman. Court records show he harassed her on and off for eight years.
The LA Times reports Brodnicki's last address is in Los Angeles. Des Plaines police say they were contacted for information on Brodnicki, although a spokesperson for LAPD would not comment on the case.
The restraining order says Brodnicki has to stay 100 yards from Gomez, her parents and her assistant.
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