(photo by Smpd)

SECOND STREET — A man was arrested Monday by Santa Monica police for violating a restraining order and stalking after he was found to be near a nursery school where actress Jennifer Garner’s daughter, Violet Affleck, attends.

Steven Burky was arrested around 9 a.m. in the 1200 block of Alley One near the rear of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica. Officers observed Burky loitering in the alley.

Garner, who starred in the hit TV show “Alias” and is married to Academy-Award winner Ben Affleck, was granted a restraining order against Burky in November 2008 after convincing a judge that he was endangering her family. Burky was prevented from coming within 100 yards of the actress and her family. It also prohibits Burky from contacting Garner in any way, including via telephone, regular mail or e-mail.

In her declaration, Garner said, “Mr. Burky has been stalking and harassing me,” sending “packages and letters containing delusional and paranoid thoughts and following me around the country … .”

Garner said Burky had been harassing her since 2002, but in the last year “his obsessive and harassing behavior has escalated to the point of becoming dangerous and threatening.”

Garner said Burky has shown up at her home and said, “God has sent him a vision of her being persecuted in some manner that may result in her death.”

Burky has written a blog called Satanic Panic, asking, “Are multitudes of adults resorting to human sacrifices and then repressing this information from fear of Christ … .”

Police said Burky is not a paparazzi. Swarms of photographers have been known to hound entrances to the nursery school and adjacent alleyways to catch shots of the famous picking up and dropping off their children.

The City Council in June directed staff to investigate “intrusive and invasive activities” of paparazzi photographers and videographers in areas where children might gather, returning with recommended regulations to protect their privacy.

The issue came to light after parents — both celebrities and noncelebrities — contacted councilmembers about the chaotic scene that often unfolds when photographers are present, complaining that they block sidewalks and stand on cars.

Burky was being held on $150,000 bail.


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