Omar Mateen: Two Women Say Orlando Nightclub Shooter Stalked Them
Omar Mateen, the ISIS sympathizer who was responsible for killing 49 people in last Sunday’s shooting at the Orlando nightclub Pulse, has a long history of erratic behavior and stalking can now be included to the list.
According to CBS News, at least two women have come forward since Sunday’s tragedy to recount stories of how Omar Mateen stalked them in the past. The first to speak out was Heather LaSalla of Fort Pierce, Florida, a bartender who used to work at an establishment in nearby Port St. Lucie, the same town where Mateen’s father had started a nonprofit organization. Speaking with the Associated Press, LaSalla said that Omar would come to the bar nearly a decade ago, mostly by himself, and make her feel very uncomfortable.
“He was one of those guys who wouldn’t leave me alone.
“He was always like a loner.”
Her comfort level certainly didn’t improve when Mateen started sending her messages on Facebook. Things got so bad that she says she ended up blocking him on the site. However, she never filed a criminal complaint against Omar and the situation more or less resolved itself and was forgotten about until she ran into him at a park this past November. LaSalla was with her son and Mateen was with his, but she says that she didn’t feel overly uncomfortable, as Mateen told her that he had a wife and the two essentially just talked about Omar’s son’s soccer league. However, she does say that something still wasn’t right about him.
“He still had that weird vibe to him.”
When LaSalla woke up to the tragic news last week, she immediately recognized Omar Mateen on her TV screen and was in shock at what she was seeing.
“It’s just weird that he snapped like that.”
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The second woman, who asked not to be identified and used the name Marie as a pseudonym, told CBS News that she encountered Omar Mateen in 2011 when he was working as a security guard at a courthouse in Port St. Lucie. She says that things with Mateen escalated quickly on the day she met him.
“The way I met him, walking into a courthouse, he held my keys as I walked in. He didn’t want to give them back to me, and he said, ‘I want to date you.’ And I said, ‘Give me my keys.’ He gave me my keys, and I went about my business.”
After their initial encounter, she thought the situation had defused itself, but Mateen found her later that afternoon.
Marie also says that she had an encounter with Omar Mateen at Walmart, an incident where things even got slightly physical when she was with her child.
“I go out to my car. I was gonna open the door. And he held the door shut so I wouldn’t open it. And he looks at me in my face and my eyes, and he says, ‘I wanna go out with you, and you are gonna be mine.’ And I says, ‘No I’m not. Get out of my face.’ He says, ‘You are gonna be mine. You watch. You are gonna be mine.’ “
“I was one night at Walmart with my daughter, and I was kneeling looking at something, and he kicked me. I looked up to him, and I said, ‘Don’t you ever kick me again.’ He came out of nowhere.”
She claims that over a three-year time frame, Omar contacted her in one way or another approximately 30 times, but says that she feels he wasn’t obsessive enough for her to contact authorities.
“No, I wasn’t afraid of him outside. There was no way he would see me out unless he saw me at Walmart. And at the courthouse — that’s the only places that I would frequent.”
CBS News says that while they haven’t been able to independently corroborate Marie’s story about Omar Mateen, they have no reason to believe she isn’t telling the truth.
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