Peter Braunstein, New York's best-known stalker, fake firefighter, alleged rapist, alleged arsonist, and self-stabber (and, let's not forget, lousy journalist), is not known for his willingness to cede the point on anything. (Feast your eyes on his legendary e-mail exchange with a Rolling Stone editor). So today's news comes as a pleasant surprise of sorts: Braunstein has pleaded guilty to violating his probation.
Probation? Indeed. On a previous charge. If you're struggling to keep track of the myriad crimes, misdemeanors, and lunacy involved here, you're not alone. After the jump, our handy timeline, pulled together from Vanessa Grigoriadis's December 2005 Braunstein profile and the latest news reports.
July 2005: Braunstein is nabbed for supreme creepiness toward an ex-girlfriend (including, but by no means limited to, 200 phone calls at work). He pleads guilty to second-degree menacing, which puts him on three-year probation.
Halloween 2005: A young woman in Chelsea is tricked into opening her door for a man in a firefighter uniform. She is then tied up and sexually assaulted for thirteen hours. The perpetrator had set the small fire he was coming to "fight." Braunstein, the prime suspect, flees the city for six weeks.
December 2005: Braunstein is apprehended in Memphis and promptly stabs himself in the neck. He pleads not guilty to charges of arson, burglary, kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault.
Today: Braunstein admits that his impromptu trip to Memphis — while entirely unrelated, he says, to the Halloween events, of which he is innocent — constitutes a violation of the probation his mid-2005 shenanigans.
Got it? Good. Because we're not sure we do. Especially considering that he was already in jail, anyway.