Guy meets girl. Guy falls for girl. Guy asks girl to marry him. Old story.
Except when the smitten guy is Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey, a 44-year-old self-described vampire from New Jersey, who has a colored history of controversial relationships with teenage girls, a laundry list of run-ins with the law in at least three states, and a bizarre plan to get elected Minnesota's next governor.
And when the object of his affection is 16-year-old Paige Brewer, a troubled kid who walked out on her mother, Jillian Moen, and their Mound home six months ago. Brewer met Sharkey in an online vampire forum in January. She, too, claimed to be a vamp.
An email relationship developed. Sharkey proposed marriage on February 11 via YouTube video. She accepted via MySpace. On Valentine's Day he flew in from New Jersey to pick her up and the pair went into hiding—with a cell phone, an internet connection, and an insatiable desire to wage war with their critics in the comments section of the City Pages website.
Meanwhile, friends, family, total strangers, and a Faribault police detective began using the same forum to urge Brewer to contact authorities.
"This is Detective Lisa Petricka with the Faribault Police Department and you know me from meeting with you a few months back," read one comment. "I have been assigned your case file for running away. I would like you to contact me so we can talk and I will help you with the situation you are in and handle this the right way."
Brewer, writing under the pen name Paige Sharkey, attacked them all and insisted Sharkey had rescued her.
"Jonathon and I plan to get married as soon as I get emancipated from my mother," Paige wrote. " If she refuses to emancipate me, then it will be a court battle."
By Tuesday she was listed as an endangered runaway by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and she was angry.
"Screw off," Brewer said in an interview, adding that she knew all about Sharkey's criminal record, and discounted it after getting to know him better. She said she was a vampire, too, and that Sharkey was treating her like his queen.
"I bit him first," she said. "Let me live my life."
Visitors to citypages.com questioned whether a 16-year-old girl—especially one claiming to be a vampire—was able to make a decision like that for herself.
"This is sick," wrote one. "She isn't an adult, not capable of making adult decisions, and Mr. Sharkey is a pedophile."
Sharkey further antagonized critics by boasting of what he was going to do to the 16-year-old.
"I am arriving in Minneapolis tomorrow. I would have stated to all women of Minnesota: Cover your necks with garlic. However, the only neck my fangs will be in is Paige's neck. Otherwise, she will make me a toothless vampyre! ;)," wrote Sharkey, who is the first vampire in history to use emoticons.
They were in hiding, Sharkey claimed, because he was protecting Brewer from her mother while he helped her begin the process of winning legal emancipation. To prove his point, he produced email correspondence with the Children and Family Services division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, seeking advice on how to proceed. DHS later confirmed the correspondence.
And no, they weren't having sex, both of them said.
Sharkey has drawn jail time, probation, and controversy over the years for his relationships with women—and the legal system of numerous states, as we've recently reported. "Let's just say I prefer to sink my fangs into younger women," he told us. And his recent YouTube proposal has touched a nerve.
Something about the case wasn't sitting right with Faribault Police Chief Dan Collins. In the six months that Brewer had lived and gone to high school in his community, she had never filed a complaint against her mother.
"She needs to speak with us face to face," he said. "What's holding her up? Why the charades? This needs to end before it gets worse."
Sharkey said he'd spoken with lawyers and is trying to bring the whole episode to a peaceful conclusion, but wouldn't tell police where they were, even as they kept up long, colorful declarations of love for each other online.
On Thursday, the end was in sight. At about 9 a.m., Sharkey and Brewer stepped through the doors of the Hope Center in Faribault for a meeting that had been arranged with police detectives and social workers.
A female police detective wrestled Brewer away; plainclothes cops grabbed Sharkey by the arm, threatening him with arrest if he made trouble. It was the last time he saw or spoke with Brewer, and he was angry at what he plainly didn't expect to be such a show of force.
"We acted in good faith," he said. "They told me to either leave the state or get arrested."
By evening, he'd been served an order for protection from Jillian Moen. By Friday, he was headed back to New Jersey on a Greyhound bus. Brewer was later released into her mother's custody.
And as for Collins? He seems to have had his fill of Sharkey's bizarre underworld fantasies.
"I'm tired of vampires," he says.
Comments on www.theblotter.com
• Unlike some of the teenies I have been involved with, at least Paige has a good heart. And she has no problem putting the Impaler in his place." —Jonathon Sharkey
• Wow, you guys, you have never cared so much while I was there, I don't get why you care so much now." —Paige Brewer
• I have to stand by my girl. If it was me, I'd really go for Paige's mother's throat, and completely destroy her. However, Paige is not considering that option just yet." —Jonathon Sharkey
• Paige? I never gave a shit about you, huh? Bull...and you know it...or should I say this to the person who is actually writing this crap for you!" —Kim Judge
• Jonathon and I plan to get married as soon as I get emancipated from my mother." —Paige Brewer
• Paige and I have agreed on our wedding date. It will be this August the 13th. As some may know, August 13 is the Goddess Hecate's Festival Day."
• It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a sick 44-year-old man luring and brainwashing a 16-year-old girl to make her feel loved is pretty ill. She is missing, and the whole country is now looking for her. " —Browneyedgirl
• I have been assigned your case file for running away. I would like you to contact me so we can talk and I will help you with the situation." —Faribault police detective Lisa Petricka