CHICAGO – A Massachusetts woman faces felony stalking charges after prosecutors say she flew to Chicago, rented a red Mustang and tried to deliver a birthday gift to the young son of Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein at his home near Wrigley Field.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that Kathleen Kearney, 44, of Canton, Mass., had tried to contact Epstein several times when he was the general manager of the Boston Red Sox.
She allegedly flew to Chicago Monday and used a rental car's navigation system to get to Epstein's home address, which she found on the Internet. At the home, she told Epstein's wife she had a backpack and birthday banner for their son, prosecutors said.
Kearney appeared in a Cook County courtroom Tuesday where she was charged with two felony counts of stalking. Bond was set at $75,000.
On Monday morning at Epstein's home, Kearney introduced herself to the Cubs president's wife, saying, `"I'm Kathy, you must be Marie,"' according to Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto. Epstein's wife, Marie, chatted with her thinking she must be a neighbor, Scaduto said.
But Maria Epstein soon "realized something was amiss" and called her husband after Kearney left. He contacted Cubs security, which informed Chicago police. Kearney later was arrested nearby.
"This defendant is a clear danger to Mr. Epstein and his family," Scaduto said in court.
But Kearney's court-appointed attorney called the stalking charges "completely overblown."
"She rang the doorbell, Mrs. Epstein opened the door and they had a friendly conversation," Assistant Public Defender Anand Sundaram said. "There was no confrontation."
In a handwritten statement that Kearney gave to police, she said she traveled to Chicago to find Epstein and brought the backpack and banner with her to the home as a gift for his son, prosecutors said. She said she had been to Fenway Park several times when Epstein was with the Red Sox. She once tried to bring him food from Burger King at the stadium's executive offices.