A mentally ill man, 35-year old Benjamin Campbell, surrendered to police on charges of criminal contempt on Thursday (9/27) for violating two orders of protection Craig Finn of The Hold Steady held against him. The orders of protection were issued after he was charged of stalking Finn; he'd also reportedly made threats against Francis Bevan, who owns Lake Street Bar in Greenpoint. From The New York Daily News:
The bipolar suspect had a mental breakdown about five years ago, suffers from depression and is sometimes suicidal, a lawyer for him said earlier this year.
According to court papers, Campbell used the Redangelsofnycity Instagram account to send Finn hundreds of messages, sometimes as many as 30 a day, for more than two months.
He allegedly sent Finn text messages threatening to murder the singer by slitting his throat then going to the band's next show — which he vowed would be as "a funeral feast."
He also allegedly threatened to kill Bevan, and sent him and Finn images of gravestones labeled with both victims' names.
Finn told Campbell to knock it off, but Campbell wouldn't back down, saying he had "the right of freedom of speech."
Campbell pleaded guilty in 2017 to aggravated harassment and disorderly conduct and ordered by a judge to attend to a mental health program. When he didn't complete it, the Judge authorized his arrest with a bench warrant in June of 2018, but Campbell had already been arrested in Lake Jackson, Texas on May 23 for trying to set fire to a Best Western motel, saying that he'd been led there by clues in The Hold Steady's music and, specifically, Finn's song "Galveston."
Recently, Campbell began posting threats on social media again and, according to the Daily News, had reportedly spray-painted the building where Finn lives. Sources close to Finn told the paper the singer felt the need to move twice due to the harassment.