A candidate for Arlington City Council is accused of sending threatening, obscene messages to a state representative’s wife, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Arlington police arrested Matthew Powers, a candidate for District 5, on Feb. 8 after he allegedly sent offensive messages on Twitter to Bethany Tinderholt, wife of state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, according to jail records and the arrest warrant affidavit.
On Valentine’s Day in 2016, messages from the Twitter account @CzarofSwag solicited sexual favors from Bethany Tinderholt for $1 and $5, suggested that he watched her in her home and picked the locks, and also mentioned her children:
“(A)lso I hope one of your kids gets raped by a pedophile or killed by someone texting. You can thank your husband for that,” one message read, according to the affidavit.
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The next day, Bethany Tinderholt reported the messages to Arlington police. She said she didn’t know who the sender was.
On another day, a handwritten letter addressed to Beth Tinderholt was found in a neighbor’s mailbox. It read, “I do love watching you Beth. I would hate to see something happen to you. See you again soon,” the affidavit said. The letter also had various numbers and symbols.
Surveillance video showed a man on a black motorcycle putting something, possibly a letter, in the mailbox.
Investigators said they believed Powers, 35, to be Twitter user @CzarofSwag, based on social media pages and database information belonging to him and his wife, according to the affidavit.
Police went to Powers’ house and asked him whether he had ever harassed anyone in Arlington, electronically or in handwriting, and he said no. When asked what his Twitter handle was, Powers stuttered and said it was “Welikeeggs,” and did not appear truthful, the affidavit said. He then requested a lawyer.
There was a black motorcycle in his driveway, the affidavit said.
Police waited more than seven months, from March until October, for the results of a subpoena from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office that confirmed an IP address associated with the Twitter account belonged to Powers’ wife, the affidavit said.
The couple were estranged, and when police were finally able to track down the wife, she told police in January that she didn’t know the Tinderholts and denied any knowledge of the harassment.
Powers was arrested in February on suspicion of harassment, a Class B misdemeanor. He posted $2,500 bail.
Powers, a graphic design consultant, is one of the challengers for the Distirct 5 seat held by Lana Wolff. Attempts by the Star-Telegram to contact him went unanswered.