Local Organizations Raising Awareness Against Stalking - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Organizations Raising Awareness Against Stalking

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SALISBURY, Md. - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in the spirit of the month, the Salisbury Jaycee's are holding an event Tuesday night to raise awareness against stalking.

A murder/suicide near Salisbury University was essentially the worst case scenario that could take place in a situation where someone is being stalked.    Police say the stalking in the situation between Ryan Shallue and SU student, Kristen Loetz, was never reported to law enforcement.  Shallue ended up showing up at Loetz home with a gun, wounding Loetz and taking his own life along with the life of CJ Abbott.

"I do believe that if Mr. Shallue had been reported to law enforcement, we could have perhaps intervened and gotten him some treatment and or got him introduced to the criminal justice system," said Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.

Not every stalking situation ends so violently, but it is not a risk anyone should take.  So, the Salisbury Jaycees are stepping up to do their part and raise awareness and public knowledge on the dangers of stalking.

"We are hoping that people come out and get their questions answered like, how can you tell if you're being stalked? If you do find out you're being stalked, what are your legal options," said Jason Rhodes, the Chairman of the Jaycee event.

Rhodes said the Jaycees will be holding a "Stalk Walk" Tuesday night at 6pm at the corner of Camden and College avenues that will conclude at the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce.  At 7pm, members of the sheriff's office, State's Attorney's Office and Life Crisis Center will sit down for a panel discussion with the public on the topic of stalking.

Sheriff Lewis said he gets phone calls on a weekly basis from people concerned about stalking and said one of the most important things someone can do is document the incidents.

"We need to show that a pattern has occurred and you are in fact being stalked, not just annoyed but being stalked.  There is a difference.  And when they bring this to our attention, it is incumbent upon us to react on it," said Lewis.

Stalking is a criminal activity that these local groups want to ensure is not taken lightly.

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