A 54-year-old Lakeland man who stalked a 19-year-old woman on Instagram for months has been sentenced to 3½-years in prison.
Eric Cerruti pleaded no contest to the charge of written threats to kill or do bodily harm, a second degree felony. In addition to the prison sentence, Circuit Judge Michael McDaniel sentenced Cerruti in July to six years of probation, which includes not having any devices with Internet capabilities and no contact with the victim.
Assistant State Attorney Tim Coleman prosecuted the case.
The stalking began in August, 2018 ,when Cerruti told the victim over Instagram that he saw her “around Lakeland a lot” and planned to “put a bullet” to her head. The victim told Polk Sheriff’s detectives that she thought the stalking had ended after she blocked the suspect.
In October, 2018, the victim again received threatening messages on Instagram from a different Instagram username. This time, Cerruti sent a picture of himself to her while he was holding a knife. Detectives tracked the suspect to his home in Lakeland where he told law enforcement he picked random people to troll on Instagram, and had made dozens of accounts because he continued to be blocked. He told law enforcement that he had a drinking problem, but “didn’t want to use that as an excuse,” according to an arrest report.
State Attorney Brian Haas thanks ASA Coleman and Polk Sheriff’s detectives for their work on the case.