Man charged with harassment after allegedly threatening MSU officials

Local News
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A man is charged with three counts of electronic harassment after allegedly sending 23 threatening emails to MSU officials spanning from April 2016 to March 2019.

On April 1, 2016, John Payatakis, 64, began emailing MSU administrators and officials in an effort to demean them and referred to them as incompetent while making threats to university president Suzanne Shipley and others to resign.

Police officers said in late February, Barry Macha, the general counsel for the school, sent a cease and desist to Payatakis but he failed to cooperate and another was sent on April 12. 

On April 15, police officials said Payatakis sent an email to the MSU Board of Regents chair and Macha with a clip from the movie “Young Frankenstein” which showed people speaking to a character named frau bl├╝cher at a castle door  — which he later referenced as the MSU administration building.

In the email, he allegedly made threats to Shipley saying she should quote “handle this” before it goes any further, and saying she would regret it if she didn’t, he also said the cease and desist letter was “filled with weak threats and has more holes in it than swiss cheese.”

Later that day, police say Payatakis sent another email referring to the previous movie clip and called Shipley “Frau Shipley” threatening to send more letters to the Texas Attorney General, the State Bar and other state and federal agencies as well as the media.

In that same email, Payatakis also allegedly said he plans to picket Shipley’s home and told her to pay for her crimes.

Two days later, investigators said he sent another email to Macha requesting that he not contact him again.

It is still unclear what wrongdoing Payatakis is alleging and he is no longer listed in the Wichita County jail.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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