Sallisaw woman facing stalking, threatening charges

A Sallisaw woman has been accused of intimidating, making threats and stalking a Sallisaw man through a series of phone calls.

Sallisaw police arrested Dana Stites, 59, Feb. 7 after the man, James Woody, filed a complaint at the police department. While Woody was talking with Detective Blake Brunk, Woody received a threatening phone call.

In an affidavit filed by Brunk, Brunk said Woody told him he had made two reports about the threatening phone calls, but they continued to happen. Woody told Brunk the caller was always a female and she told Woody she was going to “shoot him between the eyes.”

Woody said the person had also called his girlfriend, threatening her and her daughter, Brunk said in his report.

Brunk said he was told that the calls came through on one number that was blocked and another number that had an Arkansas prefix. Woody told Brunk he had already contacted a male who told him he had previously had the number, but had changed plans and no longer had that number.

As he was conducting the interview, Brunk said Woody's phone rang showing the Arkansas number. He said he instructed Woody to answer the phone. “When Woody said hello, I heard a female voice and she stated 'I am going to shoot you between the eyes.' I then grabbed the phone and stated this is Detective Brunk with the Sallisaw Police Department and I asked who was speaking. The female wouldn't answer me so I asked what was going on. The female stated Woody had been making threats toward her,” Brunk said.

The detective said he then asked the female if she had filed a report and she replied she had not. Brunk said he then asked the female if he could meet her somewhere to get her side of the story because if Woody was threatening her he needed to know. He also asked the female where she lived and the woman replied Fort Smith. He told the female if he found out who she was he was going to arrest her.

Brunk said he later pinged the Arkansas phone number and learned that it was an address in Sallisaw and that the address was where Dana Stites lived. Before going to the residence, Brunk said investigators learned Stites worked at Sallisaw High School, and contacted Officer Lita Armer, a resource officer at the school.

Armer said she had not seen Stites at the school that day. She said she was familiar with Stites because Stites had been in her office on previous occasions saying Woody was threatening her, but Stites never made a report.

Brunk, Armer and other officers went to the Sallisaw residence pinged on the phone and Stites answered the door. When he heard Stites speak, Brunk said he recognized her voice from the phone call earlier. At that time, Brunk said he placed Stites under arrest and retrieved a phone. He said when he called the number given to him by Woody, the phone began to ring.

In a subsequent interview, Brunk said Stites told investigators Woody had done some work for her parents and she and Woody had started texting and she didn't want her husband to find out so Woody told her to get a phone from Walmart so it couldn't be tracked. She told investigators she never went and got the phone until she started receiving threatening text messages from a blocked number. She said she then went and got the phone “so she could threaten Woody,” Brunk said in his report.

When asked by Brunk if she knew it was Woody making the threatening calls, she said no but she assumed and had heard that Woody was going to tell her husband that she had an affair with him and it wasn't true, the report said.

“I then took Stites back into Sallisaw City jail where she was booked into jail. Lt. Oliver then came and advised me that he went into the jail and asked Stites what was going on and she stated that she had been threatening someone and she messed up,” Brunk said in the report.

In an interview with Woody, Brunk said Woody told him that about a year ago he had been cutting down a tree across the street from where Stites lived and she came across the street to ask him if he would come over and look at a tree in her yard. Woody told Brunk that sometime later, Stites asked him to do some work for her parents, which he did, according to the report.

It was about this time, Woody told investigators, that he and Stites starting texting each other, “and things escalated,” Brunk said in the report.

Woody later started seeing another woman and Stites began calling her and threatening her. According to the report, Woody said the woman reported the threats to the Bentonville Police Department because Stites was calling her at work. After the report, the threats stopped, Woody said in the report.

However, the calls started again with threats being made to him and his current girlfriend and, recently, his girlfriend's juvenile daughter, according to Woody's statement.

Brunk said Woody told him Stites knew where he was at times and one time he was up in a tree when his phone rang. When he answered, Woody said Stites told him she could see him in the tree and was about to “put a bullet between your eyes.” On another occasion, Woody told investigators he was standing by a brush pile and his phone rang, and Stites stated, “I see you by the brush pile, I am going to shoot you, cut you up, put your body in a body bag and burn it in that brush pile,” Brunk said in the report.

On Feb. 8, Brunk said Woody turned in his statement and reported he had received three unknown calls that morning where the person on the phone “just sit there and breathed into it.” Brunk said Woody returned later to the police department to report that his girlfriend had also been getting calls with someone just breathing into the phone. Woody said he has seen Stites drive by his residence multiple times at slow speed, the report said.

“I spoke with Stites attorney Fourth Scoufos and (he) stated they wanted to add a supplemental statement with this report and that they wanted to file a report against Woody because he was also threatening her. At this time I have not received a supplemental statement from Stites,” Brunk added to his report.

Brunk said Woody's girlfriend also made a statement, saying that a female with the same phone number had started calling her work office in January, telling her that Woody was sleeping with other women and that the caller described her residence and the vehicles that she and her daughter drove.

On Feb. 12, Brunk said he also received a statement from Stites saying that Woody had threatened to kill her and her family numerous times over the past four months. She also reported that she had told Officer Armer she had received the text messages threatening her. She said Armer encouraged her to make a report but she chose not to file a report, Brunk's report said.

In a search through Stites' phone, Brunk said he checked the number he knew to be Woody's and saw text messages to Woody's number beginning in November 2018 and continuing until Stites arrest. “There is no text in the phone showing where Woody texted her back,” Brunk said in the report.

Officer Armer also issued a statement saying she first met Stites when Stites was an employee of DHS (Department of Human Services) and was liaison between the school and DHS and when she left DHS and began working at the school.

Armer said Stites came to her several months ago and reported she had started getting texts from an unknown number and wanted to know if Armer could find out who the number belonged to.

“Mrs. Stites explained to me as well as showed me some of the text messages and the majority of them the person indicated they knew her daily activities. Where she was at, who she was with, when she was walking, and who her friends were. They also stated they knew she was having an affair and if she didn't tell her husband they would,” Armer said in her statement.

Armer said she explained to Stites she should fill out a witness statement. “She advised me she didn't want her husband finding out and thinking she was really having an affair,” Armer said.

Armer said Stites told her she felt the person behind the text messages was Woody and spoke about Woody's temperament, his treatment of women, his negative attitude toward police and the city of Sallisaw and some of the issues he had with the city.

The majority of conversations Armer said she had with Stites centered around Woody and the last conversations were her talking about Woody and his new girlfriend.

“Never, during the course of several months this incident occurred, did Mrs. Stites tell me her life was threatened. I advised her of my concerns of someone tracking her daily patterns and if she refused to make a report she needed to change her daily routine and carry pepper spray for protection and always have someone with her,” Armer said in her statement.

Sequoyah County Times

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