A chance encounter at a Faneuil Hall restaurant between a yoga instructor and a Queens, N.Y., man turned into a terrifying ordeal when the self-described Satanist threatened to kill her “without blinking an eye,’’ officials said.
Christopher Cori, 21, pleaded not guilty to criminal threats and harassment charges in Brighton Municipal Court Tuesday, where bail was set at $100,000 cash. Cori did not make bail and is expected to undergo a mental health evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital in the coming days.
“The victim is in very serious fear for her life,” Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Luke Goldworm said in court.
With a subdued but fearful look on her face, the victim attended the arraignment while Cori stood about 40 feet away, attempting to hide his face from cameras. The woman left the courthouse with her father without commenting.
Cori was allegedly carrying handcuffs and a book titled ‘The Lucifer Principles’ when he was arrested Monday afternoon, a day after his 21st birthday. While in custody, Cori etched a pentagram in the glass of a holding cell, according to prosecutors. He was also charged with malicious destruction of property.
According to a Boston police report filed in court, Cori met the 25-year-old woman at MIJA Cantina & Tequila Bar on Jan. 19 and struck up a conversation with her.
The woman, who is a yoga and fitness instructor, gave Cori her business card while he handed over a bronze-colored pocket watch, the report said. The woman stated that Cori quickly began to display “strange and alarming behavior,’’ including playing with a knife while they were at the nightspot, according to the police report.
Since then, Cori has allegedly sent the unidentified woman threatening text messages and left disturbing voice mails at her home and work, many of which said he knew where she lived and that he planned to kill her, police said.
According to the report, Cori texted to the woman: “Enjoy your dreams sweetheart. Chances are you will never wake up. How would you like to find out what it’s like to be burned alive. You are nailing shut your own coffin darling.’’
He also allegedly told her: “I will see you Friday. I dare you to find me. See you soon, kiddo. Watch your reflection for those following you. Join me or face the true death. I know where you live. I will burn your house down and kill you without blinking an eye.’’
The messages were sent from two phones, one belonging to the defendant and the other to a relative, and the texts and messages were sent from New York and locally, said Goldworm.
Police said Cori’s Facebook page includes references that police found “quite alarming as they pertain to Satan drinking human blood, deflowering virgins’’ and the “Dexter” television show, which features a serial killer as the lead character.
The woman turned to police for help, and Detective Mark Maregni spoke with Cori on the phone and warned him not to have any further contact with the woman. Cori allegedly told police he often stays at a Cambridge hotel when in the Boston area, but his primary address is in Queens.
Cori has minor drug and larceny charges on his record, Goldworm said. He is due back in court on Feb.15.
Brian Ballou can be reached at Bballou@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter@GlobeBallou.