‘Burn at the Stake’: Man Accused of Terrorizing TikTok Star With Porn, Threats, and Stalking

·4 min read
via YouTube
via YouTube

A Maryland man is accused of launching a stalking campaign against a teenage TikTok influencer with unwanted overtures, violent threats, pornographic comments—and a terrifying surprise visit to her front door.

Daniel Miller Button, 33, faces federal stalking and cyberstalking charges for the months-long nightmare he is said to have created for TikTok star PeachyFizz, who often cosplays Korean pop stars and boasts more than 1.4 million followers.

According to newly unsealed court documents, the stalking campaign began in April 2020, when Button, seemingly just an “enamored fan,” purchased a pricey pair of shoes from PeachyFizz’s Amazon wish list and had them sent to the cosplayer.

From then on, things rapidly spun out of control. For more than a year, Button allegedly flooded the TikTok star’s social media channels with unwanted and disturbing pornographic comments and threats of violence.

After Button was arrested on state charges in late June 2021, it seemed there would be respite for the 18-year-old social media star—but upon his release on June 30, Button promptly ignored the conditions forbidding him from contacting the victim and began stalking the cosplayer again “the next day,” according to federal authorities.

The social media influencer told investigators that in addition to sending relentless sexual messages, Button also insinuated that the two were in an exclusive relationship, a delusional claim since the two had never been involved in any way. He also is said to have insisted that he knew the cosplayer’s thoughts, and made bizarre claims, such as that the star had “sworn to kill Jesus Christ upon his return” and “relied on demons,” screenshots of Button’s messages show.

The influencer initially alerted authorities in May that Button had sent “hundreds of messages” that varied from affectionate to threatening and pornographic, court documents show.

“Hi Ash, you are more beautiful than you’ll ever know. every day, minute, and sec I don’t see your video is like 10000 knives through my body,” Button is said to have written in one message.

The overtures grew increasingly sinister over the course of more than a year, a newly unsealed search warrant in the case shows.

On May 17, according to court documents, Button messaged the social media celebrity on Instagram, calling the influencer a “gross bitch” and accusing the star of having sex with his dad and another person whom the cosplayer had never met.

“Hope you burn at the stake,” he allegedly wrote, adding: “You can’t get away with what you did. You will spend the rest of eternity in hell … I’ll make sure of it [sic].”

Days later, when he sent the cosplayer a photo of a bloodied and dismembered woman’s body, accompanied by the text “can’t wait for this to be you,” the TikToker contacted police, court documents show.

The social media star told Winston-Salem police that Button had repeatedly ignored pleas to back off, and evaded various attempts to block him by creating new social media profiles and email addresses.

In late June, Button’s stalking is said to have intensified when he rented a car to drive hours from Maryland to the victim’s North Carolina home. After the victim’s family called the cops and Button was taken into custody, he allegedly told authorities that he simply wanted to have coffee with the teen, while admitting that he had been contacting the cosplayer online, according to court documents.

After agreeing to court ordered conditions that he would not reach out, Button was released from custody—but a day later, he took things up a notch and began contacting the social media star’s friends. He then allegedly violated a no-contact order by texting PeachyFizz and leaving a string of voicemail messages.

In the aftermath of Button’s alleged social media messaging and appearance at the influencer’s front door, he faces a series of charges including cyberstalking, interstate threats, and interstate stalking.

PeachyFizz did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Friday.

In an unsealed search warrant to access seven different Google accounts linked to Button, investigators also said they uncovered what they believed were child pornography videos on Button’s phone, and he faces an additional count for possession of child pornography of a minor under age 12.

Button’s lawyer, John Scott Coalter, told The Daily Beast on Friday that he hadn’t yet met with his client, who was moved to the Durham County Jail this week, but said that he could confirm “substantial” mental health issues for Button. An arraignment has yet to be scheduled.

“Based on my review of the records from his detention hearing and initial appearance in Maryland, it appears that based on the record, he does have a prior mental health history,” Coalter said.

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