Michelle Branch Halts Show to Catch Alleged Stalker
03/29/2007 AT 01:30 PM EDT
"Michelle Branch just said, 'Wait a second. There's a guy in the audience – striped shirt and glasses – can somebody check him out?' " audience member Cali Haas, 20, of Sheboygan, tells the Associated Press. "It left everyone just so confused, like, 'Is this a joke, part of the show?' " Haas added.
But it was not part of the concert. Dominick Giordano, 32, of Maryland, was cited for disorderly conduct after staff members at the Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts stopped him as he tried to escape on Monday, according to police.
Authorities said Giordano had been on Branch's trail since 2003, following her to concerts around the country and regularly sending her letters and videos. A police report from the Sheboygan incident said Giordano had previously gotten backstage at Branch concerts and into after parties, and had lunged at Branch at an autograph session.
"He used to get his way into meet-and-greets and private events somehow and would try to approach her and touch her and just really inappropriate stuff," said Branch's road manager, Joshua Scott, explaining that a restraining order issued after Giordano's 2004 arrest in Arkansas has since expired.
Added Lt. Jeff Johnston of the Sheboygan Police: "He's been to her last several shows, but it caught her completely off-guard that he was in Sheboygan."
The police report said Branch described herself as frightened by the situation, especially because she had her 19-month-old daughter, Owen, at Monday's concert.
After the incident, Branch apologized to the crowd and delivered her final song, Haas said.