Woman who says she moved from Portsmouth because a town man won’t leave her alone warns others that he could be dangerous.
Monica Clough, 23, says Portsmouth is a city where people come together to help each other, so she hopes that by sharing her story, others won’t have to go through what she has done.
Clough said she first met the man – against whom she now has a protection order – when she was 19 and worked at a local store. She doesn’t want to share his name because he has a wife and a family.
âHe was buying beer and said he was going to the park to train and drink beer,â Clough said. “It was funny to me.”
Things changed when Clough’s parents started receiving messages about him on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Then her friends told her about fake social media profiles created with her image and well-known local places.
And the explicit messages addressed to him began. It all got very scary, Clough said.
âI started seeing it every day,â Clough said. She remembers hiding in a jewelry store on Congress Street to avoid the man.
Clough said she got a protection order in March and left the state.
Clough’s partner Breeze Keller said he was confronted with the man as they recently had dinner outside.
Keller said he and Clough were having lunch and the man walked away from them about 12 yards and was pretending to play with his phone.
When Clough walked inside and the police called, the man pretended to leave, turned around, confronted Keller, and entered the restaurant.
âThat’s what makes it really difficult because it’s a public space,â Keller said.
He called the man dangerous.
âHe has the legal advice and the means to play with the system and really walk the fine line to get out of trouble,â Keller said.
Portsmouth Police Chief Mark Newport could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
According to the city’s website, being the victim of a crime can be a traumatic experience.
“Crime can happen to anyone, regardless of what precautions a person may or may not have taken,” it writes.
Here are some tips offered in the city guide for victims of crime:
How to get a protection order
- Meet at 10th Circuit – District Division – Portsmouth Court, 111 Parrott Avenue, or Rockingham County Superior Court, 10 Route 125 Brentwood. If you are not a Portsmouth resident, go to your local courthouse. If the court is closed, you can surrender or call the police for an emergency protection order. The order will remain in effect until the end of the next business day.
- Fill out the appropriate documents, providing as much information as possible. After the court makes the temporary order, read and familiarize yourself with the order and how it works.
- A hearing date will be set. You must attend this hearing and provide any evidence you may have to support your claim. The judge will hear from both parties and decide whether the protection order will be granted for a period of one year.
- You’re not alone. Lawyers are available through “Haven” to help you through the protection order process. Please ask the court clerk to help you contact a lawyer.
Security with a protection order
- KEEP A COPY OF THE PROTECTION ORDER WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES
- Give a copy to a trusted friend, neighbor or family member.
- Report any violation of the order to the local police department.
- Make a plan to stay safe until the police arrive.
- Inform colleagues, children’s schools, health care providers and neighbors about the protection order.
- The police officer is responsible for deciding whether or not to make an arrest; an officer can make an arrest with or without your consent if they believe a crime has been committed.
Contact editor-in-chief Kimberley Haas at [email protected]
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