Thursday, February 10, 2011

Indian-origin man stalking Facebook founder

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg [ Images ] has obtained a restraining order against an Indian-origin man, who was allegedly stalking the billionaire CEO and his family and asking for financial assistance for his ailing mother.

In the restraining order, a judge has ordered Pradeep Manukonda, 31, to remain at least 300 feet away from Zuckerberg, his sister Randi Zuckerberg and girlfriend Priscilla Chan.

Zuckerberg had claimed in legal papers filed with the court that Manukonda tried to "follow, surveil and contact him using language threatening his personal safety and the safety of his girlfriend and sister" .

In letters and messages on Facebook to Zuckerberg and his sister, Manukonda said his family is going through financial hardship and he was looking to them for help.

In one such letter, Manukonda said his mother is suffering from a serious illness with little time to live. He said he is not asking for "charity or donations" and promised Zuckerberg he would "repay the entire amount incurred for her treatment".

In another message, Manukonda, who also goes by the name Pradeep Kumar said, "I am completely tired and exhausted. Please Mark time is really running out for me. I really need your help. Please respond in time before it get too late for us".

He further writes, "I owe my entire life at your service, please help me, then I am ready to die for you" and "please understand my pain, please understand my situation".

Manukonda also wrote to Zuckerberg's sister, who is Facebook's director of market development. His message to her read, "Dear Randi please respond, before its get too late. I am sorry to bother you, which is not at all concern to you, every second is precious to me. Please understand the urgency and do the needful thing. I really need your help. My dear sister thanks (sic)".

Manukonda reportedly apologised for his behaviour saying, "I'm a peaceful guy. I'm sorry he (Zuckerberg) thought I was trying to harm him," Manukonda told celebrity news website TMZ.

"I understand he's a busy man. I'll respect his privacy". He said he had been dealing with "a major personal problem" and thought Zuckerberg could give him some advice.

Manukonda had also gone to Zuckerberg's home in late January and reportedly showed up at his office in Palo Alto [ Images ], the website said.

Local police had issued a verbal warning to Manukonda after security guards found him attempting to walk up the front steps of Zuckerberg's home on January 24.

He had allegedly also sent flowers and a handwritten letter to the Facebook founder's home on January 28. A court hearing on the stalking allegations is set for February 22.

While Manukonda has not been arrested, if charged with stalking, he could face up to one year in jail and or $1,000 in fine.

Image: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg


Source: Indian-origin man stalking Facebook founder - Rediff.com India News

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