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Monday, December 11, 2023

Charges dropped against former Ocala officer accused of stalking

Criminal charges have been dropped against a 27-year-old former Ocala police officer who was accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend and threatening to “shoot up” her residence.

According to a court filing by the State Attorney Bill Gladson of Florida’s fifth judicial circuit, the charge of aggravated stalking against former Ocala Police Department officer Natawi Nikquan Chin was dismissed by prosecutors last week because “the likelihood of conviction is slight.”

Last month, Chin was arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and he was transported to Marion County Jail and later released on $5,000 bond.

According to the arrest affidavit, the OPD had notified the sheriff’s office on July 31 that one of its officers, Chin, had sent an audio voice-recorded message to his former girlfriend that involved alleged threats to “shoot up her residence.”

An MCSO sergeant then made contact with the female victim who advised that she had met Chin through mutual friends in or around February 2022. The arrest affidavit stated that they began exchanging text messages, and they later started dating. The victim stated that they continued to date for around a year until they broke up in March or April 2023.

The victim told the sergeant that Chin had been “verbally aggressive,” and he believed that she had “cheated on him,” according to the arrest affidavit.

The victim claimed that Chin drove by her home a couple of times and began noticing another vehicle at the residence. At one point, Chin allegedly parked down the road and attempted to call her before knocking on her windows, according to the arrest affidavit.

The sergeant noted in the arrest affidavit that the victim contacted her parents around the time that Chin was calling her, and her parents observed that Chin’s vehicle was parked down the street from her home.

In mid-July, Chin allegedly sent a voice recording to the victim, and he acknowledged that he did not want to send it in writing since it would be considered a “written threat.” In the recording, Chin claimed that he would “shoot up the house if he sees another guy there,” and he added that he would “empty the entire magazine” of his SWAT rifle, according to the arrest affidavit.

On August 2, the victim sent a media file to the sergeant which included multiple text messages that were exchanged between Chin and the victim. The arrest affidavit stated that on July 17 and 18, Chin sent text messages to the victim about her vehicle not being home and her “entertaining” other men.

In addition, Chin sent a nine-second audio recording via text message to the victim stating, “I was gonna text this to you but then you could get me arrested for written threats. I will shoot your (expletive) up, keep playing.” After the victim responded by stating she was unsure if she should be laughing or scared, Chin replied by stating, “You should be scared,” according to the arrest affidavit.

The sergeant compared a recorded encounter that Chin had with a citizen to the recording provided by the victim, and the sergeant noted in the arrest affidavit that it appeared to be the same person.

Following Chin’s arrest on August 16, the Ocala Police Department released a statement that Chin “has been terminated and is no longer part of our law enforcement agency.”

On September 14, all charges against Chin were “dropped/abandoned” by the prosecution, and the case was closed, according to court records.