Alleged stalker forces The Current's Mary Lucia to take leave of absence

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Patrick Kelly

In a letter posted on The Current's website yesterday, host Mary Lucia writes that she's taking a leave of absence because of a stalker.

"My life over the last year has involved a series of restraining orders, seemingly endless calls to 911, the installation of security cameras at home, and police photo ID line-ups," the longtime Twin Cities DJ writes. "I've been constantly looking over my shoulder, dead-bolting doors, and jumping when someone rings my doorbell or my motion lights go off."

"I'm not fired, I'm not quitting, I'm not going to work for another radio station. I am taking time off to deal with this issue and take care of myself."

A Hennepin County search warrant from last October details some of what Lucia has been going through.

The document indicates that an Eden Prairie man first contacted Lucia in February 2014 regarding the death of his dog.

"After the victim [i.e., Lucia] responded sympathetically to the defendant, the contact from the defendant increased," the document says. "The contacts included voice mail messages, cards and letters to the station, and gifts."

Lucia requested the man stop contacting her, but instead of complying, he allegedly started showing up at her south Minneapolis residence.

Last July 22, Lucia called 911 to report that a man who she believed to be her stalker was at her front door.

"The male was holding flowers and ringing her doorbell for 5 minutes," the search warrant says, adding that the man left before officers arrived.

About three weeks later, Lucia found a letter in her backyard that appeared to be written by her stalker. Then, a week later, she found another note in the same handwriting in her backyard, though this one was placed further away from her residence thanks to a fence she installed in the meantime.

Two days later, flowers and a card written in the same handwriting were left on her front steps. The next day, another letter was left in her yard.

In October, the stalker allegedly sent Lucia a letter in the mail.

After the July 22 incident, Lucia took out a restraining order against the man. It's unclear as this is published whether the stalker's apparent repeated violations of that order resulted in him being charged with any crimes.

:::: UPDATE ::::

Fox 9 has obtained a copy of a criminal complaint that identifies Lucia's alleged stalker as 56-year-old Patrick Kelly of Eden Prairie.

Kelly has been charged with a felony count of "pattern of stalking conduct." Hennepin County authorities tells us his trial begins next Tuesday.

According to the complaint, the card Kelly sent to Lucia last October said, "I wake up thinking of you and repeat before bed. This feeling is so real to me! Just can't ignore it anymore..."

In addition to letters and cards, on one occasion Kelly left Lucia a gift bag on her front stoop that contained a bottle of wine and a candle, the complaint says. On another occasion he allegedly left flowers.

Lucia told authorities that after Kelly first wrote to her about his deceased dog, his subsequent correspondence quickly escalated to contain "inappropriate intimacy."

Lucia added that she had no idea how Kelly got her cell phone number or personal email address, and said the stalking had caused her to feel unsafe at home. It also produced physical symptoms like weight loss and made it difficult for her to concentrate at work.

A source tells us Lucia took a leave of absence in part so she could attend Kelly's trial. He faces up to a decade in prison if convicted.