The Manhattan District Attorney's office announced that the Reverend David Ajemian was arrested on charges of stalking and threatening Conan O'Brien. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston placed Ajemian, a 46-year-old priest in Stoneham, Massachusetts, on leave.
The DA's office says that Ajemian had sent letters (some on parish letterhead!) to O'Brien's offices at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and home, contacted his parents, and tried to attend tapings of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He was arrested when trying to attend last Friday's show. From the NY Times:
A Feb. 20 letter said: “I’m told by some of those officious little usher people that you’re overbooked. Is this the way you treat your most dangerous fans? You owe me big-time, pal. I want a public confession before I even consider giving you absolution.”
An April 26 letter, signed Padre, said, “I am not Seung Cho,” apparently alluding to the gunman at Virginia Tech. The letter continued: “Even if I did once look out on that dark and dreaded doorway on West 72 Street, remember Frank Costello once dodged a bullet in your building, and so can you.” The gangster Frank Costello was shot and wounded in the lobby of the Majestic on West 72nd Street in 1957.
Yikes! Especially since Conan apparently bought an apartment at the Majestic on Central Park West!
Ajemian had been sending letters to O'Brien for a year and was asked to stop at one point. Ajemian may have attended Harvard with O'Brien, and the DA's office believes that the stalking started when O'Brien opened up a meal center in Lawrence, MA in September 2006. According to the Boston Globe, O'Brien's college roommate and friend, the Reverend Paul O'Brien (no relation), is a pastor in Lawrence. The Archdiocese also said, "During this difficult time, the Archdiocese will offer pastoral support to all parties affected."
Ajemian was ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam and is due in court tomorrow. He faces up to a year in jail for aggravated harassment and stalking.
Conan O'Brien isn't the first "Late Night" host to have trouble with a possibly dangerous stalker. Margaret Ray stalked original host David Letterman for several years--actually breaking into his house several times and once stealing his Porsche, claiming to be his wife when she was eventually pulled over. Years later, a former employee plotted to kidnap Letterman's son and after being convicted of the crime escaped from prison.