The Criminal Investigation of Cyberstalking to uncover the identity of Mr Fuddlesticks began as internal inquires and interviews (internal investigations). The goal of the City of Renton was to internally investigate and discipline Mr Fuddlesticks. Given the intensity and veracity of the Chief to conduct a Witchhunt, Mr Fuddlesticks did not come forward, most certainly out of fear of losing employment.
The next step taken was the department faxing Google/YouTube a letter requesting user account information of “mrfuddlesticks”. Google refused, stating they will release the information only under legal demand of a search warrant. This was clearly another indication that the intention was internal discipline and not criminal charges (otherwise, they would have sent a search warrant first).
A search warrant affidavit was written by Detective Onishi and was refused by the King County Prosecutor’s Office, as it was legally insufficient.
A new search warrant affidavit, written by Officer Rutledge (not the same detective that wrote the previous affidavit) was taken NOT to the King County Prosecutors Office, but to the local City Attorney Office, where it was approved for Cyberstalking.
After being approved by the local prosecutor’s office, which happens to be an alleged victim of cyberstalking in this case, the search warrant was refused by Judge Williams. Officer Rutledge then went to another judge (Judge Cayce) who approved the first of multiple warrants for Cyberstalking.
City Attorney Larry Warren claims that some Probable Cause existed for the search warrant and that the search warrant was intended to determine if there was information existing of a crime. That is like the police writing a warrant for YOUR private information to see if you committed a crime without having any evidence before the search warrant. This was another indication that the City only wanted to user account information of mrfuddlesticks, without intention of filing actual criminal charges.
During this entire process, there were a multitude of conversations and emails that detailed using the Cyberstalking statute as a means to obtain a search warrant. These conversations and email, including from the Chief of Police, state that a crime probably didn’t occur, and at that, there would be NO way that charges would be accepted or a case prosecuted. The goal of the search warrant was to get the private user information under the guise of a criminal investigation.
Even today, the police department keeps the investigation open to avoid public disclosure.
Even today, the police department keeps the internal investigation open with the hopes of converting their internal case into a criminal case should they discover the identity of Mr Fuddlesticks.