Michael Arnold, a retired merchant marine, was arrested for the third time in one week for allegedly stalking a woman in Upstate New York using his small plane.

 

Plane Stalking

He denied knowing the victim, Cassie Wilusz, whom he was accused of tormenting for over four years. "I don’t know her, she’s crazy," Michael Arnold, 65, said of 42-year-old Cassie Wilusz on his way into Saratoga Town Court. He stated that he had only eaten at her restaurant once, but didn't return due to food poisoning.

However, Wilusz, who owns Revolution Cafe in Schuylerville, shared videos that allegedly showed Arnold circling her home in his plane and following her in his car.

Arnold was arraigned on Tuesday for nine counts of criminal contempt, which stemmed from a Friday arrest for allegedly harassing Wilusz and threatening her daughter using a fake Facebook account, violating an order of protection.

Arrested And Released

The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office immediately slapped him in handcuffs again for a new stalking charge. Wilusz expressed her relief that Arnold was in custody, hoping he would answer to the charges. However, minutes later, Arnold was released on bail.

On October 3, he was first arrested in Vermont for circling Wilusz's home in his Cessna aircraft, which was a violation of the order of protection preventing him from flying. The Bennington Police Department issued a statement on his arrest, revealing that the FBI was involved in the investigation, leading to his $5,000 bail release.

New York man accused of stalking woman by plane appears in court - MyNBC5-WPTZ
New York man accused of stalking woman by plane appears in court
- MyNBC5-WPTZ
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When The Harassing Began

Wilusz, whose husband recently died, told Fox News Digital that Arnold is a former customer who has terrorized her and her family since she rejected his vulgar advances in November 2019.

Unfortunately, that's when Arnold allegedly began harassing Wilusz by flying over her house multiple times a week. He'd even follow her in his car as she went about her daily routine like walking her dog or taking her daughter to school.

65-Year-Old Pilot Charged for Allegedly Stalking Woman - Inside Edition
65-Year-Old Pilot Charged for Allegedly Stalking Woman - Inside Edition
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Wilusz said Arnold emailed her photos of him posing with nude women. She told him he'd crossed a line. For Wilusz, the situation is a never-ending nightmare that she hopes will soon come to an end.

Arnold Was Taken Into Custody

Michael Arnold was taken into custody on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, for allegedly flying his plane too low over Cassie Wilusz's house and posting threatening messages on social media. This wasn't the first time Wilusz had reported Arnold's behavior, as he had flown so low that it caused the roof to shake and the windows to rattle while her husband was dying of cancer earlier this year. Despite her numerous reports to the police and local prosecutor's office, they didn't seem to take her complaints seriously.

"I didn't know if he'd fly into our home. I didn't know what he was capable of," Wilusz previously told Fox News Digital.

Schuylerville Mayor Dan Carpenter explained that the authorities struggled to determine whether Arnold's flying was low enough to constitute stalking. However, the recent order of protection, which included a ban on flying, has made it much easier to arrest and charge him. Carpenter also noted that residents were concerned about Arnold's mental stability after he allegedly dropped tomatoes from his plane onto Wilusz's and her neighbor's properties.

fewf - Inside Edition
Cassie Wilusz  - Inside Edition
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In an interview at her cafe, Wilusz expressed relief that Arnold was finally in custody. According to prosecutors, Arnold had been stalking her and posting disturbing messages under a fake name on Facebook.

After Wilusz's husband died in May, Arnold allegedly implied that her karma was responsible for his death and suggested that her 14-year-old daughter would be next, according to prosecutors.

Arnold's lawyer declined to comment.

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