Courts & Crime

Man charged in cyberbullying case against 17 year old

MATTHEWS — Police charged a 27-year-old Matthews man with cyberbullying, after they said he assumed a 17-year-old co-worker's identity online and sent humiliating messages to her friends and acquaintances beginning in May 2009.

David Richard Arts turned himself in at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office on Saturday after Matthews police contacted him, said his lawyer, Rick Winiker of Charlotte. Arts was released without bond on a written promise to appear before a District Court judge on the charge.

Arts was shocked when he learned police issued a warrant for his arrest, his lawyer said, but he voluntarily went to the sheriff's office.

"We are looking forward to our day in court on the matter," said Winiker, a former chief of the cybercrimes section of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Education in Columbia.

Arts declined comment on Monday.

Matthews police Officer Stason Tyrrell said the co-worker tolerated the messages for months, finally reporting them to Matthews police in February.

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