LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. (WGN-TV) — On the morning of Taylor Swift’s first Chicago show, a Northwest Indiana man was arrested after allegedly showing up at her Nashville residence last month.
Mitchell Taebel, 36, of Long Beach, entered a not-guilty plea Tuesday on the charges of stalking by threatening serious injury or death, intimidation, invasion of privacy, and harassment.
The investigation began on March 25 after Taebel allegedly sent pictures of weapons via social media to members of Taylor Swift’s management company — threatening to “destroy them.”
Five days later, Taebel was accused of leaving a message to Swift’s father that he is her “soulmate” and “he is the only one that can make her secure.”
On April 5, Taebel allegedly sent a threat via fake Instagram accounts to one of the dancers on Swift’s Eras Tour. According to court documents, Taebel posted a picture of someone firing a gun at a range and stated “If today there is the sexual performance of Vigilant s**t, [referring to Swift track “Vigilante S—‘] you can be sure that we will destroy you and all the other dancers and (Swift) too, I think you know what happened to Joe Alwyn [Swift’s former boyfriend].”
That same day, documents state Taebel contacted governor’s offices in several states informing them that his U.S. presidential campaign will be part of the Eras Tour and also contacting Swift’s management company again. In that voicemail, he allegedly told them he and Swift need to meet and that he would “wear a bomb on his chest.”
Throughout the rest of April, Taebel allegedly posted threatening videos to Swift on Instagram. Court documents state one of the captions said the singer “deserves to be shot.”
On May 5, which was the day before Swift’s Nashville show, Taebel allegedly traveled there from his home in Long Beach. Court documents state Taebel made an appearance at the building of Swift’s top-floor Nashville penthouse, which she purchased in 2009, by sneaking in through an unsecured door.
While there, Taebel allegedly told security he was a “great-looking, well-dressed, popular TV host” and asked if Swift was there. Security called Nashville police, but documents state he left the property before they arrived.
The next day at Swift’s concert, Taebel was able to get in due to having a ticket from a third party despite being on a “security threat/concern list.”
Once in the venue, Taebel allegedly positioned himself in an area where management and tour performers would pass by him to get on stage. Documents state he was recognized by security and immediately questioned about showing up at Swift’s residence in addition to his “obsession” with the singer.
Security escorted Taebel out of the venue and he returned to his home in Long Beach.
After returning home, documents state Taebel posted a racially hate-filled tirade video on Instagram admitting that he went to Swift’s residence.
“I went to [Swift’s] apartment complex and anybody in my opinion that thinks it is illegal in any way to go to somebody’s apartment to see if they want to meet should be killed. They should die of a heart attack on the spot,” Taebel allegedly said as part of the tirade.
During the tirade, in which the N-word was allegedly used multiple times, Taebel ended it by saying “she had no idea a white man would come in there and talk to (Swift) like I did.”
On May 11, attorneys for Swift’s management company were granted a temporary restraining order against Taebel in Nashville.
From May 16 through May 18, documents state Taebel posted multiple videos to Instagram. In one of them, Taebel allegedly said that his “dying wish is that anyone who had anything to do with them not meeting should be executed.”
Those videos were used to grant an extension of the temporary restraining order, documents state.
On May 31 in Indiana, Taebel was charged, and the next day his bail was set at $15,000. He was arrested on the morning of June 2, which was the first day of Swift’s shows in Chicago and is still in jail, according to records.
Taebel was appointed a public defender. After entering the aforementioned not-guilty plea, his next court date is scheduled for July 27.