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Erin Napier recalls terrifying ordeal with a Person who stalked their daughter. Requests all to keep kids safe

One year following a harrowing encounter with an individual dressed as a stormtrooper from “Star Wars,” Erin Napier shared on Instagram why May the Fourth Be With You is not her preferred unofficial holiday.

In her post, Napier recounted, “We were filming… when Ben started receiving messages from numerous locals about a 54-year-old man adorned as a Star Wars stormtrooper, sporting an ankle monitor bracelet, who had arrived in town and was uttering some very peculiar statements.”

Identified as John Gaffney of Santa Barbara, Calif., the man faced charges in April 2021 for making terrorist threats and displaying a weapon in his neighborhood, as reported in the April 22, 2021 edition of Edhat, a media outlet in Santa Barbara. The charges stemmed from an incident in which he allegedly brandished a firearm and a “taser” after a verbal altercation. The accuser reported “serious verbal threats” to harm him just a month before Gaffney visited Laurel. Notably, he was seen wearing an ankle monitor during his time in Laurel.

Who was the stalker who followed HGTV star couple’s daughter?

Gaffney’s unsettling behavior extended to making peculiar statements, as Erin Napier revealed, “He was saying strange things such as, ‘God sent me here to protect the women of Laurel, specifically little Helen.'”

Napier further detailed the disconcerting situation, sharing, “He had bought a house a block from ours and was living in it with nothing but a suitcase and these toys for when my 3-year-old daughter, ‘comes over to visit.’ Ben saw red, his blood boiled.”

Reports indicated that Gaffney had dolls named after the Napiers’ children, adding to the distress of the situation. Notably, during this time, Erin Napier was “terrified and 9.5 months pregnant.” In the subsequent two weeks, Gaffney’s unsettling behavior continued as he encountered Mallory and Jim Rasberry’s baby girl during walks with her nanny, making disturbing statements, as recounted by Napier.

“We all had 24-hour security officers at home, while we slept, while we worked,” she continued. “Helen asked who they were and why they were here, and we never told her the truth. ‘They work with us! They’re friends of ours who are staying with us for a little while!'”

Reflecting on the incident a year later, Napier shared that she still thinks about it daily, but the fear has subsided. “I’m thankful for the way our neighborhood guarded us and put up a hedge of protection when we needed it and further validated what I already knew: Protect your kids in the online world as much as you can,” Napier wrote.

According to The Leader-Call’s report from last May, the stars of “Home Town” obtained a restraining order against Gaffney due to “disturbing comments” about their children. The man associated with the “May The Fourth” incident was compelled to leave Laurel after his bond was revoked in California for violating the terms of his release on felony charges there.

Gaffney, who identified himself as a real estate broker in Santa Barbara on his Facebook page, had circulated brochures in Laurel, offering a $1,000 reward for assistance in finding a home for sale in the historic district, with the intention of having Ben and Erin Napier renovate it for him.

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