Local man arrested for cyber-stalking

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Carriere resident was arrested on Saturday for allegedly posting a threat against the University of Southern Mississippi and cyber-stalking two members of the university’s Gulf Park faculty.

Former USM student Joshua Scarabin, 40, was arrested by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department for warrants issued by the USM police department, said Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.

USM Police Department detective Rusty Keyes said that Scarabin had three warrants out for his arrest; two of those counts were for cyber-stalking against faculty members of USM’s Gulf Park campus, and one count was for posting a threat to cause injury.

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“It has been an ongoing investigation that culminated in his arrest on Saturday morning,” said Keyes.

“Our deputies picked him up without incident at his Pearl River County residence,” said Tucker.

Tucker said deputies from the USM Police Department transported Scarabin to the Forrest County Jail in Hattiesburg.

Keyes said that with a computer crime of this nature, charges could be filed in the jurisdiction where the threat originated or in the location of the threat’s recipient. The University decided to press charges in Hattiesburg where their main campus is located, said Keyes, who added that Scarabin was being held on a $25,000 bond for each charge.

Mississippi Code states that it is unlawful to electronically mail or electronically communicate to another person repeatedly, whether or not the conversation ensues, for the purpose of threatening, terrifying or harassing any person. It goes on to state that whoever is found guilty of these offenses could face between two to five years in prison, depending on the nature of the threat.