LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors brought felony charges Monday against an Army reservist who allegedly stalked Ryan Seacrest, including showing up at the “American Idol” host’s studio and attacking one of his bodyguards.
Chidi Benjamin Uzomah Jr., 25, faces up to four years in prison if convicted of the stalking charge.
He was arrested Friday after he appeared at the E! Entertainment Television headquarters and tried to see Seacrest, whose radio show is produced at the location. A restraining order petition filed by Seacrest’s attorneys stated he was carrying a knife.
“His aggressive and violent efforts to come into physical contact with me are extremely frightening to me,” Seacrest wrote in a declaration for the restraining order Friday. “They have jeopardized not only my personal safety, but also the safety and well-being of those around me.”
It is not his first brush with the law related to his Seacrest obsession.
Uzomah is on probation after pleading guilty in September to assault, battery and carrying a switchblade knife in Orange County after he attempted to meet Seacrest after an event and attacked one of the radio and television host’s bodyguards. The charges were all misdemeanors.
Soon after his plea, Uzomah allegedly went to the offices of a radio station that airs Seacrest’s morning show, not realizing Seacrest wasn’t there. He then was arrested after showing up at the E! building last week.
Jail records do not indicate whether Uzomah has an attorney and attempts to locate a working phone number were unsuccessful.
Uzomah is a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve and serves as a combat medic, Army Lt. Col. Nathan Banks said Monday. He first joined Army National Guard in 2005 and was honorably discharged earlier this year, but returned to the Reserve in August.
Banks said there was no record of Uzomah serving overseas.
“It’s an unfortunate incident which has happened,” Banks said. “We’re watching it.”
Banks said Uzomah could be subject to Army discipline and may be considered “absent without leave” — or AWOL — but is presumed to be innocent until the case in Los Angeles is resolved.
Uzomah remains jailed on $150,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County prosecutors also charged Uzomah with two misdemeanor counts of attempting to disobey a court order by trying to see Seacrest.
Written By ANTHONY McCARTNEY for AP