Bremerton man pleads guilty to stalking Rep. Caldier
A Bremerton man has pleaded guilty to stalking 26th District Rep. Michelle Calder.
Isaiah Richard Long, 34, reached a plea agreement on two counts of felony stalking on March 1, shortly before his trial in Kitsap County Superior Court was to begin. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 24. Prosecutors have recommended that he be sentenced to state prison for the maximum of the 13- to 17-month range.
Caldier, R-Gig Harbor, said she began receiving phone calls and text messages from Long in February or March 2021. Calls went first to her Olympia office and then to her campaign cell phone.
“I would get a whole bunch of messages one day, then it would calm down,” she said in a phone interview Monday. “Later I found out he was in jail for stalking somebody else, so he has a history with that.”
Volume of calls outweighed nastiness
The contacts were not menacing, but relentless.
“While the defendant never made any overt threats to Ms. Caldier, the extreme number of messages he left, the immense range of emotion he displayed, as well as his unpredictable behavior gives serious cause for alarm,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Albert Didcock wrote in court documents. “Unsurprisingly, Ms. Caldier was in fact afraid for her safety.”
Caldier didn’t respond to Long’s messages. She stopped answering the phone if she didn’t recognize the caller. Once, however, she picked up expecting to hear from a contractor working on her home. It was the only time she spoke to Long.
10 to 20 contacts per day
“I told him his behavior was frightening me and I wanted him to stop,” she said.
Washington State Patrol troopers also told him to halt, several times. Caldier reported Long’s calls to them in March and July 2021 and February 2022, according to court records. They rolled the information into a March 2022 report that stated Caldier was receiving 10 to 20 calls, voicemails and text messages a day — more than 200 total.
“During the calls, Isaiah’s behavior was erratic and unpredictable,” the report stated, according to court documents. “Sometimes he would sing to her and appear happy, confessing his love to her. Others, he would become angry and yell, wanting to know why she didn’t meet him or why she hasn’t moved in with him.”
Long told a State Patrol detective that he viewed his relationship with Caldier as “pen pals” and “considers her a good friend.”
“I didn’t do anything to provoke it,” Caldier said. “When you listen to all the recordings, it doesn’t make sense. He believes we were in a relationship, which we never were. He would get very angry with me sometimes because I wasn’t with him. We’d never met.
“There were hundreds if not thousands of voicemails. It was very apparent he was not in reality, and I had no idea how to predict his behavior.”
He visited her father’s house
Long visited the home of Caldier’s father three times, asking for photos of her, she said. Her dad didn’t mention it the first time, to avoid worrying her. The second time she contacted police and got a no-contact order. Yet Long came back once more.
Long was issued a temporary restraining order in July. It became a full protection order in late August, Didcock said. Long continued to contact Caldier, including asking her in a text message if she ever really loved him. She presented the evidence to the State Patrol, which contacted the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, which arrested and jailed Long on Oct. 25, 2022, for stalking and violating a no-contact order.
The two convictions are felonies because Long stalked in violation of a no-contact order and before the order was issued he stalked after having been convicted previously of harassment, Didcock said. He was convicted of violating a no-contact order for stalking — a gross misdemeanor — in 2018.
Long’s criminal background
Long also has a felony conviction for forgery and other gross misdemeanors for third-degree theft (3), falsely reporting an emergency, criminal trespass and malicious mischief, according to State Patrol records.
Long’s public defender, Paul Thimons, requested a competency exam, which he passed and was declared fit for trial. Thimons declined to talk about the case. Long has agreed to undergo mental health and substance abuse treatment while in prison. Once released, he can’t contact Caldier for 10 years, Didcock said. That doesn’t give her much comfort.
“That’s the piece,” Caldier said. “When he gets out, how will I be able to protect myself because we know those orders, they’re just a piece of paper to him. I’m not sure he’s going to abide by it or not. I’m hopeful he will. You just never know.”