BOSTON (CBS) – A Rhode Island man has been charged with sending a series of threatening emails to a college professor. Matthew Haviland’s own friends tell the I-Team they were also getting bizarre and hate filled threats, and, they’ve been worried about his behavior for months.
Haviland is charged with cyberstalking and transmitting threats directed at Harvard, a Harvard professor and a Rhode Island clinic that performs abortions.
Prosecutors say Matthew Haviland starred in dozens of what they call threatening and politically motivated rants and posted them on social media. The language so violent, Haviland’s longtime friend who didn’t want to be identified said, “the tone and the faces he was making was so alarming he looked like he was completely separated from reality. It really shook me.”
Wednesday, FBI agents searched his Rhode Island home arresting and charging the 30-year-old with threatening the Harvard Professor. Allegedly telling her in a series of disturbing emails.
“I will bite through your eyeballs while you’re still alive, and I will laugh while scream.”
In another message he wrote, “I will rip every limb from your body and eat it, piece by piece.”
Friends say, “the Matt in the YouTube video and the Matt who allegedly made those threats is not the Matt we knew.”
Over the last six months, friends say Haviland was unraveling. They believe he became radicalized online and even began targeting them with non-stop threatening messages one reading:
“I’m Beyond caring how I sound. I was beyond that a long time ago. Now it’s time for Justice, and if you don’t wake You up, We will.”
Those messages left Haviland’s friends feeling uneasy and threatened. Relieved that no one had been physically hurt..but wish more could have been to done to intervene before it came to this.
Over the past year, police have been called for a series for well-being check on Haviland. But, in recent weeks, officials say his violent rhetoric began to escalate. Haviland now remains in custody and is due back in court on Monday.