Man accused of stalking tennis star Serena Williams in Palm Beach Gardens

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - A man accused of stalking tennis star Serena Williams told investigators he knew her whereabouts because of her updates on Twitter.

40-year-old Patenema Ouedraogo is charged with stalking and cyber-stalking, after he was arrested near Williams' home early Tuesday morning by Palm Beach Gardens Police. Ouedraogo was booked just before 2 a.m.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Ouedraogo had a Texas driver's license when he was stopped by private security near the home of Williams Monday evening. Guards had received alerts warning them of a man who had been stalking Serena and said he matched the description. They put him in handcuffs and called police.

An attorney for Williams had requested and obtained a temporary restraining order against Ouedraogo. But it had not been served because he couldn't be found.

According to the affidavit, Serena's representative said Ouedraogo has tried to make contact with Williams several times in the past.

The first was October 20th in Los Angeles while Williams was visiting her agent. Her representative says Ouedraogo made several unsuccessful attempts to enter the building and contact her.

He returned the next day and said he wanted to promote her clothing line and television show in Africa.

He also reportedly showed up in her dressing room at the Home Shopping Network when she made an appearance in Tampa last month. He is also accused of showing up when Serena made a radio appearance in Hollywood on April 15th.

According to the affidavit, when police searched Ouedraogo's belongings they found a letter saying he was in love with Serena and he felt they were soul mates and that she loved him as well.

Police asked him how he knew where she was, and he said from her Twitter account.

His bond was set at $25,000. If he makes bail he will be placed on house arrest.

In court Tuesday afternoon a judge ordered a civil injunction against Ouedraogo which will stay in effect indefinitely. He was ordered to stay at least 500 feet away from Williams.

Serena Williams says she's fearful of her accused stalker and says "it's very unsettling."

WPTV's Marci Gonzalez contributed to this report

Print this article Back to Top

Comments