Online dating

Kortni Butteron didn’t think much about it when she wrote on a private, invite-only Facebook page that Nashville women should avoid a man she once rejected through a dating app.

After all, she’d never met the man who identified himself as Carl Durden on social media, but after researching what he’d wrote on Instagram, determined that she felt like he wasn’t her type.

The Facebook page, jokingly named “This is not a swipe left group in Nashville,” was created for women to warn other women about men not to date in Nashville.

“His Instagram is full of him being a d*****bag a****** making fun of people and generally just being a d***,” Butterton wrote.

On January 29, Butterton said the man from the dating app showed up at her door.

“I'm locked in my bathroom,” she can be heard saying to a 911 operator. “Oh my God, he's banging on my f****** house right now. He is consistently ringing my doorbell right now.”

Before police arrived, the man left.

The events that transpired after the 911 call resulted in an order of protection hearing, criticism of the unintended consequences of the Facebook page, and the temporary removal of the page by its administrator.

Butterton was so frightened by the experience, she filed for a temporary order of protection, learning that the man she had rejected on the dating app’s name was actually Carl Vonhartman.

At the hearing to extend the order, Butterton explained that when she rejected Vonhartman through the app, he did not take the rejection well, asking for an explanation as to why.

Butterton went on to explain that other women on the Facebook page echoed her experiences.

News4 Investigates was granted permission by the administrator to review screengrabs of the conversation.

“He does not take rejection well,” a woman wrote.

Another woman wrote she spoke to him on a dating app after once seeing him get into a fight at a bar. “But he got pissy when I nicely said I wasn’t interested so we never went out after chatting.”

A third woman wrote, “He seemed nice at first but then he came off really pushy and aggressive and it set off some red flags for me so I unmatched without meeting him.”

Butterton said a member of the group then screengrabbed the comments and sent it to Vonhartman.

In court, Butterton displayed a copy of the message she said that he sent her through social media, reading, “I wasn’t aggressive with you at all. I simply asked you a question. Keep running your mouth if you want to be sued for defamation.”

Butterton testified that what further concerned her was that she never gave him her address or phone number.

The administrator of the page also testified, saying that Vonhartman also called her.

She asked News4 Investigates to only use her first name, Melissa, as she said she now feared for the safety of her family.

“(Vonhartman was) screaming. Telling me I was a fat b****. That they couldn't let women do this to men,” Melissa testified. “(He) continued to tell me he would find out where I worked, where I lived, by the end of the day.”

When it was time for Vonhartman to testify, he and his legal team argued not only had he never been to Butterton’s house, but he never threatened any of the women and was only trying to point out that incorrect claims were made about him.

Vonhartman referenced to one of the claims made on the Facebook page that he had been charged with domestic battery.

Vonhartman said the only time he was ever charged with battery was in college when he got into a fight with another man in a dorm.

“I had seen posts in this Facebook group that were incorrect that I had been arrested for domestic assault which is completely untrue,” he said.

Vonhartman described the site as “basically a group where women go to share gossip about men in the dating pool in Nashville.”

Vonhartman testified that he was home working when the 911 call was being made and the location feature on his phone proves it.

“I absolutely was not there, I was as not at her house. I have a mountain of evidence to show I was at my house,” he said. “I’ve never done anything threatening to her, never threatened her. The only thing I said I was going to sue her for defamation.”

Butterton’s attorney argued that there were no experts available to testify if the location features on phones can be manipulated.

In the end, Judge Ana Escobar denied the order of protection, ruling that there wasn’t ample proof to show that Vonhartman had come to Butterton’s home, but acknowledged that she understood why Butterton was afraid.

After someone in the Facebook group screengrabbed the conversations to share with Vonhartman, Melissa decided to temporarily close to page in order to determine who she feels betrayed the trust of the women.

She intends, however, to bring it back.

 

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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