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Stalker of Serena Williams Arrested Outside Wimbledon

July 05, 2002|Lisa Dillman

WIMBLEDON, England — For the second time in less than three months, an overzealous fan of Serena Williams has been detained by law enforcement authorities. Albrecht Stromeyer, 34, of Frankfurt, Germany, was arrested outside the All England Club on Wednesday and appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on Thursday.

He was charged with breaching the peace and criminal damage and was released after posting bond, not contesting the charges. His attempts this year to insinuate himself into the life of Serena Williams have forced the family to increase her personal security. After he was detained at the Italian Open and deported by authorities in May, a bodyguard soon appeared at her side.

The bodyguard was stationed near the court when Williams played her matches in Paris and even accompanied her in interview sessions at the French Open. Here, police officers on the grounds at Wimbledon have been given pictures of the alleged stalker, and one policeman said in an interview that the man was spotted three times.

Stromeyer was taken into custody when he was outside the grounds on Wednesday, riding a bicycle. Stromeyer was said to have crashed his bicycle into a security camera, according to an officer and a report in the Daily Express.

In court, prosecutor Martin Fox said, "Apparently, Mr. Stromeyer has a fixation for tennis player Serena Williams." He added that the man said of Williams, "I don't hate her. I love her. I will never hurt her."

Oracene Williams, the player's mother, said: "I hope if he needs help, he gets it."

Said Serena Williams: "I don't really pay any attention to anything like that. I don't see how it could affect my game, him being arrested. I'm a strong person. I try not to let things like that affect me."

Venus Williams was asked about the arrest and release of Stromeyer, and what her father, Richard, would do if he "got a hold of that guy."

"Probably take him to lunch," Venus said.

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