FREEHOLD, NJ – A Neptune Township man is in the county jail facing charges of stalking, burglary and cyber-harassment following a series of events that appear to have started after he harassed women through social media, ultimately breaking into the Neptune Township home of two of his female victims, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Wayde M. Delhagen, of Wayside Road in Neptune Township, is facing charges in his hometown of third degree Burglary, fourth degree Theft by Unlawful Taking, fourth degree Criminal Mischief, and related charges of fourth degree Stalking and fourth degree Cyber-Harassment.
The arrest of Delhagen comes after Neptune Township Police responded to a 3 a.m. 911 call on June 15, 2019, reporting a possible burglary at a home in the 700 block of Wayside Road. Upon arrival, officers spoke to the 18-year-old female victim and her mother, who advised someone had broken into the girl’s bedroom through a window, while mother and daughter were asleep in another part of the residence. The victim indicated she had been having trouble with a man she met using social media. While continuing their investigation during a search of the surrounding area, Neptune Township police officers located Delhagen in front of a nearby home. He was found in possession of a bathing suit top and a bra belonging to the victim and taken from a laundry basket located under the window of her bedroom. At that time, Delhagen was charged with Burglary, Theft and Criminal Mischief. He was released on a summons in accordance with the recommendation from Delhagen’s Public Safety Assessment.
The Neptune Township police continued its investigation, and learned the victim had previously had first come in contact with Delhagen last year through social media. That contact morphed into harassment after the victim rejected Delhagen’s efforts to set up a meeting for the two, forcing the victim to cut off any communication between them. In May 2019, Delhagen contacted the victim using a different social media platform, asking if he could come over to the victim’s house and inquiring if the victim’s mother was home. He then sent her disturbing images including a Google Maps image of the victim’s residence. After he was again rejected by the victim, Delhagen sent a harassing message to the girl’s mother.
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Neptune Township Police charged him with Stalking and Cyber-Harassment, and he was taken to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
Delhagen is also charged out of Neptune City, with two counts of fourth degree Cyber-Harassment, as part of an ongoing investigation into harassing messages sent via social media and his cell phone to a separate set of victims. In that case, Delhagen is accused of utilizing social media accounts to repeatedly send threatening messages and sexually explicit materials to another young female victim and her mother. Those threatening messages also included references to the Sarah Stern homicide.
Delhagen is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township. He had a first appearance on June 26, 2019, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James J. McGann. A detention hearing is scheduled for July 1, 2019, before Judge McGann.
If convicted of Burglary, Delhagen faces a sentence of three to five years in prison. If convicted of the fourth degree offenses, he faces up to 18 months in state prison on each count.
Despite this arrest, law enforcement authorities continue to seek names of other potential victims that may have been contacted by Delhagen on social media.
Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to contact Detective James Van Etten of the Neptune City Police Department at (732) 455-0117, or Det. Erick Amadruto of the Neptune Twp. Police Department at (732) 988-8000 ext. 419.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Carmel and William Visone.
Delhagen is represented by Shane S. Paugh, Esq., of Middletown.