When Bethesda resident Eugene Matusevitch was charged with sending a barrage of harassing text messages to a police officer who had cited him for an illegal turn — “You there fatboy?” he’d allegedly written; “On a donut break?” — one big question was unanswered:
How did Matusevitch learn the officer’s cellphone number, home address, Social Security number, and the make and year of the car the officer owned?
According to new allegations by Montgomery County Police, Matusevitch relied on a buddy who until recently worked at a financial services company and who now, too, is charged in the case.
“Thanks again, bro,” Matusevitch, 34, purportedly wrote in a text message to his friend, Zak Nicholas Thompson, 26, after Thompson allegedly sent him what police called a “detailed report” containing the officer’s personal information.
Those text exchanges, detectives say, show Matusevitch bragging to Thompson about using the information not only to send a flurry of texts to the officer, but also to contact drug rehabilitation facilities and private companies in the officer’s name.
“Sent him a ton of texts,” Matusevitch allegedly texted to Thompson, also of Bethesda. “Signed his phone # up for like 500+ software demo calls so he’s gonna’ get blown up. . . . Signed his phone # up for like 100+ drug rehab places.”
Thompson offered to help, according to police records, using an abbreviation for “let me know.”
“lmk if you want any help spamming him,” Thompson wrote, according to police assertions filed in court.
The case dates to an illegal right turn Matusevitch made at a Bethesda intersection Aug. 28. Montgomery Police Officer Dominick Stanley pulled him over.
Matusevitch contested the ticket and met Stanley again in traffic court Nov. 14. In that hearing, Matusevitch said he had not noticed the relevant sign. He ultimately pleaded guilty. The judge fined him $50, but did not lodge a conviction and did not lodge any points against his driving record.
All things considered, the seven-minute traffic court trial went pretty well for Matusevitch.
Several hours later, though, he couldn’t seem to let it go, judging by the police accusations about the texts.
After the hearing, according to the new court filings, Matusevitch reached out to Thompson.
“Yo super random bro,” he texted, according to police, “but could you submit a research request for me by any chance? Nada to do with settlements at all. Just really, really need a phone #. Not sure where else to go.”
Police said Matusevitch gave his friend the officer’s name and said he was employed by Montgomery County.
Thompson was charged with two counts of obtaining identifying information about a person that is used to “annoy, threaten, embarrass, or harass” the subject, court records show. The charge is a misdemeanor, according to John Kudel, an attorney for Thompson.
Kudel said that because of the allegations, his client is no longer working for Reliance Funding, a structured-settlement company based in Chevy Chase, Md. Representatives for the firm could not be reached for comment Monday.
Kudel declined to discuss specifics of the accusations because he has yet to receive investigation documents beyond the arrest affidavit.
The case may turn on whether Thompson fully understood up front how Matusevitch was going to use the information Thompson purportedly provided.
“The crime requires that Mr. Thompson had the specific intent to do what the law says he cannot do,” Kudel said. “He may have exercised some bad judgment, but that may not have risen to the level of the commission of a crime.”
Thompson is due in court March 15.
Matusevitch previously was charged with three counts of obscene misuse of a phone and one count of harassing electronic communication, also misdemeanors. Because the case has been delayed, he is due in court May 22, according to court records and his attorney, Steven Kupferberg.
On Monday, Kupferberg said the underlying issue — his client’s bouts of anger — is being dealt with appropriately. “Jail is not always the answer to inappropriate conduct,” he said.
In seeking his friend’s help, court records assert, Matusevitch texted: “Very long story short, had a really nasty traffic stop with the dude, and court today didn’t go my way. . . . So I am going to get back at him somehow.”
In texts Thompson sent to Matusevitch, according to police, he wrote of sending him a data report on the officer. According to the sequence of texts as presented in an arrest affidavit, Matusevitch wrote back: “Lol. Been ripping that dude to shreds.”
“Haha. What r u doing?” Thompson reportedly responded.
Matusevitch explained the barrage of texts and contacts to drug rehab facilities, court files state.
In earlier court records, detectives alleged that Matusevitch’s text messages insulted the personal car the officer drove, the neighborhood where he lived and his salary. Matusevitch also allegedly sent a Facebook message to the officer’s father, insulting his son. At one point, Matusevitch sent the officer 17 texts in 59 minutes — eight laced with vulgarities and cutting insults.
Detectives took Matusevitch into custody Nov. 21. They asked him how he had acquired personal information on the officer, and Matusevitch said it had come from his friend, Thompson, according to court records.
Detectives also seized Matusevitch’s cellphone and found text messages between him and Thompson, the court records state.