After the Beijing Olympics, 17-year-old Shawn Johnson suddenly has one of the world’s most recognizable faces. She’s young, she’s an Olympic gold medalist (she would have won more than one of those, if not for Alicia Sacramone), and she’s had her own official fan club since before her 15th birthday. In fact, that’s part of her problem, as one of those fans, a 34-year-old man named Robert O’Ryan, has taken things way, way, way too far, trying to break onto the set of a CBS studio where Johnson is filming the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars.
The story comes from TMZ, via FANHOUSE — and was mentioned in this morning’s Speed Read, below — and it’s about as scary a fan issue as we can remember. Not only did O’Ryan claim he was “meant to be with,” Johnson, he also was packing a .45 caliber handgun, a shotgun, and a plethora of material that could be used to kidnap someone; duct tape, zip tiles, maps to different Johnson locations (the CBS studio, her house, etc.), love letters and “other clippings and information.”
That’s terrifying, but so is the stalker’s justification of his actions. The following comes directly from paperwork Johnson and her parents have filed seeking a restraining order against O’Ryan:
According to the documents, O’Ryan told police “He had packed all his belongings and permanently left Florida to drive out here to be with [Shawn Johnson], he believes that she speaks to him personally through the television set and through ESP and that they will have a child together, he stated he would be with her no matter what.”
The case also provides compelling evidence against concealed handguns, as O’Ryan was licensed to carry the .45 on his person legally. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t have carried it anyway — and in this case, it was his concealed weapons license that gave him away as a nutjob to CBS security officers after he jumped a fence and entered an East Studio hallway. Still, it makes you wonder how he could have been approved to carry a loaded gun, doesn’t it?
Regardless, it seems as if the approval of Johnson’s restraining order is only a matter of time, and probably not much time. The gymnast-turned-ballroom dancer says she’s “scared for her life” and that everyone who knows her is afraid that a 34-year-old lunatic might try to kidnap her to finally connect in a way more direct than ESP.
In fact, that seems almost like a statement of fact at this point after what was found in O’Ryan’s car. Now, it’s just a matter of whether the $35,000-bond O’Ryan is locked up with is enough to keep him behind bars. Here’s hoping the L.A.P.D. has someone cranking out that restraining order right now.