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Pilot, 65, accused of using plane to stalk woman for 4 years: ‘It’s a nightmare’


A pilot was charged Friday with threatening a young girl days after he was arrested for using a single-engine Cessna plane to stalk her mother for more than four years.

“It’s a nightmare. He’s terrorized my family, and we’ve been so afraid,” Cassie Wilusz, 42, told Fox News Digital. “All these years he has been winning because nobody would do anything until now.”

Micheal Arnold, 65, allegedly flew his plane over her Schuylerville. New York, home multiple times a week so low that the windows rattled and the roof shook – all of this as Wilusz’s husband lay dying of colon cancer.

“I didn’t know if he’d fly into our home. I didn’t know what he was capable of,” she said. “I thought, what if he shoots me.”

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Michael Arnold, 65, is accused of stalking Cassie Wilusz, 42, from the skies for more than four years in this 1976 Cessna 180 single engine plane.  (Saratoga Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy of Cassie Wilusz)

Her complaints to the Federal Aviation Administration and New York State Police fell on deaf ears, she said.

Arnold has been arrested at least five times for the aerial torment but nothing has deterred him.

“I didn’t know if he’d fly into our home. I didn’t know what he was capable of,” 

— Cassie Wilusz told Fox News Digital

On Friday, Saratoga County Sheriff’s deputy Nikki Voegler slapped Arnold in cuffs on criminal contempt charges outside the town’s local grocery store after allegedly tying him to a Facebook account he used to threaten Wilusz’s daughter.

“Change your wicked ways, girl. Karma is a wonderful thing, [your daughter] will be next. You will see them all pass before you,” he allegedly wrote.

Police say he used the same fictitious account to post a disturbing message on her husband’s obituary page. “When times(sic) up, times(sic) up. We all have to live with our Karma,” he wrote. 

The latest charges came four days after Bennington police nabbed him at an airport in Vermont for allegedly flying over Wilusz’s home on Sept. 27 in violation of an order of protection. 

The FBI notified the Bennington Police Department, who was waiting for him at the airport when he arrived, according to a news release.

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Deputy putting elderly man in handcuffs.

Deputy Nikki Voegler, of the Saratoga Sheriff’s Office, arrests Michael Arnold, 65, for allegedly threatening the daughter of a woman he’s accused of stalking. (Courtesy of Cassie Wilusz)

Arnold pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges in Vermont Superior Court. In both recent cases, he promptly posted bail.

The trouble started in November 2019. Wilusz runs Revolution Café in the picturesque town of 1,300 about 200 miles north of New York City.  Arnold, a retired Merchant Marine, used to come into the café several times a week.

As far as she was concerned, he was just a regular customer. One day he sent her an alarming email. “It was pictures of him tied up with naked women, like 20 photos, and he was telling me to open my mind,” recalled Wilusz, who was married.

She sent him a respectful Facebook message taking exception to the graphic photos, then she blocked him. 

The rejection appeared to have sparked an obsession. Arnold began flying over her home, taking photos of her backyard and car and posting them to a community Facebook page. When she headed to work, walked her dog or took her daughter to school, she’d find him sitting in his car at the end of her driveway or hiding nearby.

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Man, woman and young girl smile in a family portrait.

Cassie Wilusz, her late husband Dave Wilusz, and their 14-year-old daughter. Michael Arnold is accused of flying his small plane over the Wilusz home while Dave was dying of colon cancer. (Courtesy of Cassie Wilusz)

An anonymous package arrived in the mail with photos of her and her family with checkmarks next to their faces, but the package was sent from a post office without cameras and police said they couldn’t identify the sender.

In November 2022, Arnold allegedly used his 1976 propeller plane to drop tomatoes on her and her neighbors’ properties.

The next time he flew, authorities were waiting on the landing strip of the Saratoga County Airport. They asked to look at his cellphone and found dozens of surreptitiously taken photos of Wilusz and her family at various locations. 

He was arrested for stalking and the court issued a restraining order – which did not bar him from flying over her home.

“I ended up losing my mind and got super scared, and I wouldn’t let [my daughter] out of my sight,” recalled Wilusz.

But she had a more serious crisis. Her husband, Dave Wilusz, had been diagnosed with colon cancer.

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“As Dave’s cancer progressed, I just couldn’t fight two battles, and I stopped calling the police because the police wouldn’t do anything,” she said. “The entire time Dave was in hospice, he would just circle us three to four times a week.”

Her husband desperately wanted to help, but he was too weak. He told her, “Cassie, this isn’t going to be your forever. I promise you, you and [our daughter] are going to be OK.”

He passed away on May 22. “The next day [Arnold] flew over, and it felt like he was going to come through my house and everything shook, and I’m like, I can’t, I can’t live like this anymore,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion.

Instead of focusing on burying her husband, she did an interview May 25 with a local reporter.  “So I’m standing there, and she’s asking me questions, and then he just came, and he pulled up and then sat there the entire time watching us,” she recalled.  

The news station captured him on camera. They called Voegler, whom Wilusz praised and said was the only officer to take the case seriously.

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Woman poses with golden retriever.

Cassie Wilusz shown with her dog. The New York woman has been tormented for four years by alleged stalker Michael Arnold, who she says has harassed her by air and land.  (Courtesy of Cassie Wilusz)

The deputy planned to arrest him for violating the restraining order but soon discovered that prosecutors had accidentally let it lapse. The document expired the same day her husband died, Wilusz said.

A new protective order was issued that included a no-fly order, but Arnold took up his plane anyway. Instead of flying from Saratoga County Airport, he started to take off from Maine, then Vermont before his latest arrest. 

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Wilusz said that with Voegler and the FBI’s help, she’s hopeful this ordeal will finally end.

“I just want [my daughter] to see justice because she shouldn’t have to see in 2023 a man do this to a woman and nobody listen,” Wilusz said.

Arnold couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. 

Brooke Curto contributed to this report.



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