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Not a victim: Stalking target breaks her silence

Posted at 10:49 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 23:59:41-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's a paralyzing fear to know someone is watching you – peering into a place where you expect privacy.

For months, Hannah Arbuckle was stalked. With each episode the stalking escalated.

"He ran to my bedroom window … slammed a video camera against it," she remembered.

She's call police, but the voyeur would vanish.

"When he was finally captured, it was because I had chased him and ended up in the back of his truck," Arbuckle said.

It was a fall evening in 2003. Arbuckle walked out of her house and came face-to-face with Robert Braun – the stranger she'd seen peeping, videotaping and snapping pictures of her.

She wasn't about to let him slip away.

"He yelled at me to stop chasing him, and I said, I know what you've been doing. You're looking into my windows," Arbuckle said. "And then he threw a tricycle at me.'

She then jumped into the bed of his pickup, and as he sped away, she called police.

"I'm in the back of the truck on the phone with 911, giving them milestones and markers that I recognized as we went down the street," she said.

Braun then bailed from the truck and headed for Arbuckle.

Fortunately, police arrived in time and tackled him. They made a chilling discovery inside his vehicle: rope; duct tape; oil; a rubber mask; nude photos of Arbuckle; and her underwear – proof that he'd been inside her home.

Braun, a convicted rapist, went back to prison, and Arbuckle decided to suffer in silence no more. She helped toughen voyeurism laws, and she now speaks out to empower women.

"I never thought this would happen to somebody like me, and that was part of the reason why I never spoke up about it that much, because these  things don't happen to just everyday people … just regular Joe's like myself," Arbuckle said.

IMPD Sgt. Catherine Cummings says women should take time to check out their surroundings, invest in security, and trust their guts.

"If you find that you have someone who is following you, someone in your neighborhood who you see a little bit more often than you should or you feel is taking a little bit more interest in you than you feel that person should, look into that. Pay attention to that," Cummings said.

Arbuckle says she dismissed strange things like trampled flowers in her yard and moved patio furniture – things she now urges women to take note of.

Police say women should call 911 the moment they sense there's a voyeur targeting them so that authorities can take action early.

Arbuckle does not recommend chasing down a voyeur. She realizes she put people in danger, including herself.