California man served with restraining order for allegedly 'stalking' Apple CEO Tim Cook

Also slapped with court request not to contact security staffers


Members of Silicon Valley-based security firm Urban Tactical Group (UTG), which does "regular" work for Apple, have been granted a temporary restraining order preventing a California man from approaching them.

The order was granted on Wednesday by the Santa Clara County Superior Court against a man in his forties named as Rakesh Sharma. That order will only be valid until 10 March, when a hearing will take place.

UTG said its employees had "concerns about their personal safety", citing "threatening behavior against Apple's CEO" by Sharma.

Earlier this month, on 13 February, Apple was granted its own temporary court order keeping Sharma from coming within 200 yards (182m) of bossman Tim Cook, Apple employees and members of its team including security officer William Burns at premises that include Cook's house and Apple HQ, among others. The next hearing on that order will be held on 3 March.

Both restraining orders mean that until a court says otherwise, Sharma cannot own, buy, or try to buy firearms or ammo under Californian law.

A 7 February filing made by the Apple security man detailed alleged incidents in which Burns claimed Sharma's "conduct escalated from leaving voicemails to attempt[ing] to stalk Apple's CEO by physically trespassing on the CEO's personal property". The filing detailed incidents including an alleged attempt by Mr Sharma to "deliver flowers and a bottle of champagne".

He also claimed Sharma had tagged Apple's CEO on his Twitter account, which included "inappropriate photos of Mr. Sharma with reference to the Apple executive".

After describing another alleged trespassing incident on the Apple CEO's property, Burns said the Palo Alto Police Department was contacted, but said the man left the property before the cops arrived.

He also detailed a series of phone calls made earlier this month, which he described as "nonsensical", in which Sharma said "an Apple employee laughed at him over the phone and hung up while Mr Sharma was allegedly recovering in the hospital. Mr. Sharma further stated that he did not think this was funny, that he was entitled to a cash settlement of an 'open check book,' and that his attorney is Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi."

The security man said Apple's lawyers had sent Sharma a cease-and-desist letter asking that he not contact Apple and its exec team.

That same day, Mr. Sharma called Apple's technical support line ("AppleCare") and made a number of highly disturbing and threatening comments. During the call, Mr. Sharma stated that he knows where Apple's CEO lives and stated that "I don't use ammunition but I know people who do," that Apple's CEO is a criminal and that Apple tried to have Mr. Sharma killed while Mr. Sharma was in the hospital. Mr. Sharma made other delusional and paranoid comments related to Apple.

We have asked UTG and Apple for comment.

Sharma has not yet responded to the restraining order and it is not known if he has hired a lawyer. ®


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