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Florida Keys man accused of threatening to kill former employer's family, hurt daughter

Matthew Collins harassed family after injuring knee at work, deputies say

Matthew Collins, 53, of Marathon, is accused of threatening his former employer's family members.
Matthew Collins, 53, of Marathon, is accused of threatening his former employer's family members.

MARATHON, Fla. – A Florida Keys man who was angry about being fired after an injury at work threatened his former employer's family members, telling them that he knows where they live and vowing to harm his ex-boss' daughter, deputies said.

Matthew Collins, 53, of Marathon, was booked into jail Feb. 9 on charges of aggravated stalking and extortion.

According to a Monroe County Sheriff's Office report, Dave Clarkson and his wife, Carol Clarkson, told Deputy Aaron Coller that they have had an ongoing issue with Collins, who used to work for the family's boat rental business. They said Collins threatened to hurt them if they didn't pay him $5,000.

Collins suffered a knee injury while working for the Clarksons, who offered to have Collins' knee examined, and was fired in August 2015, the report said.

The Clarksons said Collins had been contacting them every few months for about a year and a half after he was fired, but his behavior escalated last month, when he called 23 times in a span of about two hours one morning, Coller wrote in the report.

Among the numerous voice mails that Collins left, he referenced his knee injury and told the Clarksons that he's "coming to see them," the report said. In one message, Collins said they can either pay for his knee or their daughter's knee, the report said. A minute later, Collins called back and said that his knee is "f---ed up for life" and that if they don't pay him, he will "f--k up (the Clarksons') daughter's knee," the report said.

In another message, Collins told them that they'll "pay for it in some way or another," the report said.

Collins threatened to kill them in another call, the report said.

A warrant for his arrest was issued, and Collins was taken into custody. His bond was set at $35,000.


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