CASPER, Wyo. — A 28-year-old man who prosecutors charged with felony stalking after he allegedly threatened to burn down a woman’s home has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Rodolfo Barranco entered his plea during a brief arraignment Friday before Natrona County District Judge Thomas Sullins.
Barranco was arrested Thanksgiving day after the alleged victim contacted police about 7 p.m. The woman claimed Barranco was driving by her Casper home and sending her text messages, one of which stated he was going to burn her home down, according to an arrest affidavit from the case.
A police officer who responded to the situation saw Barranco driving near the woman’s address. A pursuit followed and Barranco drove his vehicle through a North Beverly Street residence’s fence and then ran from officers, authorities say.
He was apprehended near Lennox Avenue, where he had run, police say.
Authorities say they found a “small red plastic gas container” filled with a mixture of gasoline and oil in the truck of Barranco’s vehicle.
Barranco, according to Colorado officials, was barred from being within 100 yards of the alleged victim and from contacting her via telephone. He faces two misdemeanor charges — assault causing injury and sexual contact with no consent — in Colorado involving the same woman, authorities say.
Apart from felony stalking, authorities also charged Barranco with violating a protection order and leaving the scene of an accident. If convicted, he could spend more than 10 years behind bars.
He remains in the Natrona County Detention Center.
A jury trial will be scheduled.