Phoenix Sundown, the man believed to be responsible for sending five packages containing suspicious items to “Dance Moms” star JoJo Siwa, resulting in an appearance from a Murrysville, Pennsylvania, bomb squad Tuesday, appeared in a San Diego court room on Thursday. The 36 year old man was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly sending what has been described as “inappropriate” items to the 12 year old Lifetime reality star.
NBC San Diego reports that Sundown is facing five felonies, including four counts of “distributing harmful matter to a minor." He was also charged with animal cruelty. His bail was raised from $25,000 to $250,000 in court on Thursday and he has been barred from having contact with minors. If convicted, Sundown could face 5 years and 8 months in prison.
While the site reports that Sundown’s case involves “four underage victims” — Sundown has admitted to also sending fellow “Dance Moms” star Maddie Ziegler, 12, 11 packages — it appears he may have a particular fascination with JoJo. “Sundown was apparently so infatuated with the youngster he tattooed her portrait on his neck,” NBC San Diego reports, according to investigator allegations.
NBC San Diego tracked down the tattoo artist Sundown reportedly used to get the tattoo of JoJo. The artist claims that Sundown showed him a picture of the Lifetime star and asked the individual to “draw her face” on his neck.
A YouTube channel titled Phoenix Sundown, which contains a video of Sundown previously shared by TMZ, also contain a video with JoJo’s name in the title. On Aug. 6, a video titled “Dark Knight Killer - JoJo Siwa tattoo MI: 7/31 “ was uploaded to the social media account. In the video a man can be heard complaining about “paparazzi” as he walks a crowded city street in search for a tattoo shop. (Warning: the video contains NSFW language.)
While the JoJo tattoo allegations have yet to be confirmed, in an interview with KGTV in San Diego, Sundown showed off his "zombie" tattoo of another "Dance Moms" star, coach Abby Lee Miller.
— Yoolanda News (@yoolandanews) September 4, 2015
TMZ reports that this isn’t Sundown’s first run in with the law. The site recently discovered that Sundown was arrested in 2007 for assault. He served three years in a state penitentiary. After being diagnosed with a mental disorder, he was moved to a prison hospital. During his treatment, he reportedly had disturbing materials in his possession, including a photograph of actress Lindsay Lohan with "trails of red dripping down her body and Sundown holding a long knife over her.”
A Murrysville, Pennsylvania, postal inspector was the one who flagged Sundown’s packages to JoJo, which was sent to a fan mail P.O. box. The postal worker says she contacted an Allegheny County bomb squad Tuesday after discovering the items being shipped were “inappropriate for minors” and allegedly contained “harassing, stalking items.” The packages were later destroyed using a water cannon.
“Dance Moms” premiered on Lifetime in 2011. JoJo and her mom, Jessalynn Siwa, joined the show for its fifth season in January. The series follows several dancers and their mothers as they navigate the world of competitive dance. The series’ sixth season is expected to begin filming in Los Angeles in the coming months.