by Ivan Foley
Authorities say a rural Parkville man was victimized by a computer repair person who threatened to expose the man as an alleged possessor of child pornography unless the man gave the suspect money.
Richard Harrison, 43, now of Kansas City, is charged with the felony of attempted stealing by coercion after allegedly sending letters to the rural Parkville man demanding payments of $5,000 immediately and an additional $500 per month. If he failed to do so, Harrison allegedly threatened to post information in the victim’s neighborhood indicating the man has child pornography on his home computer, which would “cause outrage among his neighbors and result in property damage to the victim’s house along with other potential acts of violence.”
The victim was directed to send payments to an address with a suite number in Mission, Ks.
Authorities say they determined the address to be a UPS store with a suite number being a box that was rented by Harrison.
The victim indicated he knew Harrison from the suspect being at his house and working on his computers as a technician for “Geeks on site.” The victim stated he made an offhand comment about pornography on his computer and Harrison became very serious and his demeanor and mood changed, according to court documents.
Further investigation tracked Harrison’s current residence to 39th Street in Kansas City. When authorities checked that location, they say they found an advertisement and business cards on the door for Richard Harrison the “Repair Geek” with an address matching the Mission, Ks. address to where the victim had been directed to send money.
In all, police say the victim received at least three letters demanding money. One letter included a poster indicating the potential notice that would be posted if the victim does not make payment. The poster, according to court documents, indicated the victim is a pedophile and contained a photo of two young boys who are nude.
Police say the victim in the case never sent any money to Harrison.
A warrant for Harrison’s arrest was issued on Tuesday by Judge Quint Shafer, with a bond of $5,000 cash only.