A Norwalk man spent part of Valentine's Day in court on charges of [after being arrested for allegedly] harassing and stalking his estranged wife. Valentine's Day also found him at Norwalk Police headquarters, where he turned himself in to face more charges involving his wife.
Joseph Brancato, 46, was charged with stalking in the second degree in his first arrest. Bond was $100,000. His wife has reported numerous incidents to police, but recently became concerned for her safety when Brancato allegedly asked her boss for a gun. The conversation was overheard by someone else, who confirmed what was said, according to police. Brancato told the boss, who has been his friend for many years, that he wanted to shoot someone. The couple have been separated since April 2010. Police say they have a pre-trial hearing on their divorce this month.
Brancato has allegedly been calling his wife even though in October Norwalk Police ordered him not. Police say Brancato has been seen parking near his wife's Catherine Street house repeatedly. One day he was seen there three times in three different vehicles. Brancato owns a car dealership on Main Avenue.
On Feb. 13, Teresa Brancato and a co-worker were about to close Bruce's Flower Shop at 6 p.m., police reports said. They saw a tan Buick circling slowly through the parking lot more than once. Both recognized Brancato. There were no other businesses open in the complex. Brancato allegedly looked his wife in the eye. Scared, the women locked the doors and called police.
Brancato was arrested at Penny's Diner and Restaurant , where he had agreed to meet police. He was released after making bond and was arrested again at 7 p.m. Feb. 14. He was charged with four counts of stalking third degree and one count of harassment second degree. Bond was $25,000.
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