Telemarketer Charged with Death Threats
MILWAUKEE - A former telemarketer for Adelman Carpet and Furniture Cleaning is charged with one count of unlawful use of a telephone.
According to a criminal complaint, as 27-year-old Michael Balistreri tried to make sales, he encountered people that were "rude to him," so he "jotted down their numbers and began to harass them."
One of those people is a Milwaukee man. He said he got a phone call around 2 o'clock in the morning. "It was an odd, eerie voice and he said 'You're going to die,'" the man said.
The man, who does not want to be identified, said he was scared for his life. "It crossed my mind that somebody could be outside with a gun," he feared.
The man had no reason to believe anyone would make a death threat against him. He had the phone company put a tracer on his phone. Less than 24 hours later, the caller dialed back.
"(I) got the same message that I was going to die. The second call was someone sort of chuckling on the phone," he said.
Police say they traced the calls to Balistreri. He's a former telemarketer.
The victim claims he was not rude to to the telemarketer when Balistreri called his house. The man said he simply hung up on him and told him not to call back. Less than two days later, Balistreri is accused of calling back outside of work hours and making death threats.
"I was terrified because you didn't know what was going to happen next," the victim said.
Balistreri told TODAY'S TMJ4 that he was under the influence of drugs when he made the calls, and he's "sorry."