Dating site relationship ends with violence & blackmail

A relationship that began through an online dating website leads to violence, drugs and blackmail and one arrested.

According to the police report, the victim met Walter Anthony Townsend, 36 on an online dating site called Plenty of Fish. They began dating for about 5 weeks with Townsend staying at her residents from time to time.

The victim began to notice items from her residents take missing and became suspicious of Townsend. She then realized the relationship was not going to work, but Townsend refused to leave when asked.

The victim said Townsend threatened to tell about their drug use to her employer and that he had pictures to prove it. He also said he would have DSS take her child.

Townsend then asked for $600 to keep his ex-girlfriend from pressing charges against him. Then Townsend told the victim that he would peacefully leave if she gave him $1,000 in which she paid, but then refused to leave still.

On Nov 3, 2016 the victim said the two were involved in a physical altercation outside her residence when Townsend pushed her with his fist in her face, pinning her against her car.

The victim allowed Townsend to use her vehicle and on November 3, he did not show up to get her from work. She then contacted him by phone and he continued to blackmail the victim. Townsend also used the victims debit card without permission.

Townsend was finally located in Laurens County where he was arrested and charged with domestic violence 2nd degree and extortion/blackmail.


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