A Nashville man was arrested today and charged with four counts of cyberstalking, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Barry Zarculia, 53, was arrested this morning by FBI agents, pursuant to a criminal complaint issued Tuesday and unsealed today. According to the complaint, the FBI has been investigating Zarculia since June and determined that he used a cellular phone and an Instagram account to send death threats, threaten serious bodily harm, and/or harass, intimidate and stalk multiple victims.
The complaint alleges that Zarculia was the user of the Instagram account @songs_in_the_key_of_z and posted hateful, racist, anti-black messages on their public message board, such as messages including the phrasing “black lives don’t matter.” In addition, an individual referenced having observed posts which applauded the sniper who conducted the 2017 Las Vegas Massacre and which alluded to the fact that the user wished the same attack would occur in Nashville, Tennessee. After posting these and other comments, Zarculia received negative feedback from other social media users. Zarculia then posted a photograph of one individual’s house, along with the address of the individual’s public page, and said in part, “Anyone that wants a piece of me, come on over,……..Off Nolensville Pike. I sleep in the front bedroom.” This alarmed the individual as this front bedroom was occupied by his child. Zarculia also sent other messages to this individual and called him on the phone and threatened to put a gun in his mouth.
The continuing investigation led agents to another victim who began receiving unsolicited messages from Zarculia in September 2019, via Instagram. Although this woman had never met Zarculia, his messages referenced her recent locations around Nashville, including a local coffee shop and a local park. Zarculia continued to message this woman for the next several months, which she described as “creepy” and “overly sexual” in nature, often sending her photos of his penis. On one occasion, Zarculia made reference to the woman’s minor son and specifically mentioned the elementary school which he attended, though the woman had never mentioned her son to Zarculia. She eventually stopped responding to Zarculia’s messages and in early 2020, Zarculia approached her in a local grocery store. She did not engage in conversation with him and went about her business. Later, Zarculia sent her messages that were angry in nature. These messages continued to escalate to violent and threatening rants, some sent in audio format and also directed at a friend of the woman who had become involved out of fear for the woman’s safety.
Another victim told FBI agents that in the summer of 2018, she was contacted by Zarculia, via Instagram. Although they had never met, the woman became friends on social media with Zarculia and talked online until early 2019, when she decided not to pursue the relationship. Zarculia later messaged the woman and told her he had found her apartment, though they had never met in person. Zarculia escalated his activity to include lewd comments and photographs and posted her home address, phone number and photograph on Craigslist and other public websites to be used for escort/prostitution advertising. This woman also received information that Zarculia had been to her home and wiped a caustic chemical compound on the handle of the front door.
The complaint alleges yet another woman who began receiving unsolicited Instagram messages from Zarculia in July 2020. These messages also escalated to harassing and threatening text and audio messages. On many occasions, Zarculia made reference to her location, making it apparent that he had followed her and knew where she had been and where she lived. In October, out of fear for her safety, the woman obtained a temporary order of protection against Zarculia. The following day, while hiking at a local park, the woman saw Zarculia from a distance. She then hid in a large bush and sought the assistance of a park ranger to escort her to her vehicle, at which time Zarculia began yelling at her.
Each of these victims were forced to take additional security measures, including installing or updating their home alarm systems, or even moving from their home, in order to mitigate the threat posed by Zarculia.
Zarculia will make an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later this afternoon. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
Anyone who believes they have been the target of Zarculia’s cyberstalking or threatening behavior is encouraged to contact the local FBI office at 615-232-7500.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Risinger is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.