Bethesda, MD – Two men have been charged for taking personal information about a Montgomery County police officer, and using it to harass him and his family, after one man got angry about a traffic ticket.
It all began on Aug. 28, 2017, when Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) Officer Dominick Stanley stopped Eugene Matusevitch for making an illegal left turn in busy downtown Bethesda during rush hour.
Officer Stanley, who was named Officer of the Month for the Bethesda district in September, was running a traffic patrol when he observed a black BMW make an illegal left turn.
The officer, who was standing on the corner watching specifically for those illegal turns, signaled the BMW to stop, and 34-year-old Matusevitch pulled over, The Washington Post reported. Officer Stanley wrote him a ticket.
In traffic court on Nov. 14, 2017, the officer testified that Matusevitch was immediately hostile and told Officer Stanley that “we were just minimum-wage security guards.”
The judge fined Matusevitch $50, but let him off the hook without a conviction and points. That wasn’t enough to satisfy Matusevitch.
He went home and contacted a friend who worked in the financial industry, and asked him to dig up the police officer’s personal information.
"Yo super random bro but could you submit a research request for me by any chance? Nada to do with settlements at all just really need a phone # not sure where else to go... Very long story short had a really really nasty traffic stop with [a police officer] and court today didn't go my way bc of some bs he told the judge so I'm gonna get back at him somehow,” he texted to his friend Zak Thompson, WJLA reported.
Matusevitch sent Thompson, 26, the police officer’s name and police department.
Thompson, who at the time worked for a financial services company named Reliance Funding, used the company’s Accurint financial software subscription to obtain Officer Stanley’s cell phone number, home address, Social Security number, personal vehicle information, and annual salary.
Matusevitch used the information to begin sending harassing text messages to Officer Stanley.
Police said the officer first received 17 messages in 59 minutes, eight of which were vulgar and insulting, one that included Officer Stanley’s Social Security number followed by three exclamation points, and two that were photographs of the officer himself, The Washington Post reported.
Matusevitch also signed the officer up to receive more than 500 calls for software demos and rehab facilities.
Police said that the next day, Officer Stanley got 21 telephone calls from addiction treatment facilities that believed he’d reached out to them for help.
“Sent him a ton of texts,” Matusevitch texted to Thompson “Signed his phone # up for like 500+ software demo calls so he’s gonna’ get blown up. . . . Signed his phone # up for like 100+ drug rehab places.”
According to court paperwork filed in Montgomery County District Court, Matusevitch posted Officer Stanley’s phone number “all over” Craigslist ads for sexual encounters with other men, WJLA reporting.
Court records showed that he also sent a Facebook message to the Officer Stanley’s father, making fun of his son’s salary and calling him a “mall cop.”
Matusevitch used his own cell phone to commit most of the harassment, so police were able to track him down easily.
When police served a search warrant on the Bethesda home where he lived, Matusevitch immediately told them about Thompson.
MCPD investigators from the Electronic Crimes Unit were able to retrieve Matusevitch and Thompson’s chain of text messages from the laptop and cell phone they seized during the search.
Thompson was charged with two misdemeanor counts of obtaining identifying information about a person that is used to “annoy, threaten, embarrass, or harass” the subject, court records show.
He faces up to two years in jail, and $1,000 in fines, WJLA reported. Thompson was scheduled to appear in Montgomery County District Court on March 15.
Initially, Matusevitch was charged with three misdemeanor counts of obscene misuse of a phone and one misdemeanor count of harassing electronic communication, The Washington Post reported. The misdemeanors carry a total possible punishment of up to 10 years in jail.
His next court appearance was delayed until May 22, after Thompson had made his appearance.
Matusevitch’s attorney, Steven Kupferberg, compared the allegations against his client to those in a disorderly conduct case, when someone was accused of berating and yelling at a police officer on the streets, The Washington Post reported.
“I don’t think he should be treated any differently than those charged in disorderly cases, which generally aren’t jailable offenses,” Kupferberg said.
He said the underlying issue was that Matusevitch suffered from bouts of anger.
“Jail is not always the answer to inappropriate conduct,” Kupferberg told The Washington Post.