A New Jersey man has been arrested, accused of calling to “put a bullet” in Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood’s head over his aggressive stance against antisemitic speech.
The sheriff announced the arrest in a news conference Tuesday.
Chitwood said the man, identified as Richard Golden, made the threat on a 4Chan chat dedicated to a hate group.
“(Detectives) discovered that he is anti-government, he’s anti-law enforcement, and like every other active shooter that we come across, is a marginalized member of society, who spends hours and hours and hours in these extremist chat rooms,” Chitwood said.
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Chitwood said Golden would be extradited to Volusia County and held in the county jail. He faces charges of threat of serious bodily injury in written communication, which he said is a felony.
“Extremism is extremism is extremism,” Chitwood said. “If you’re looking to destroy someone, it doesn’t matter what side they’re on.”
Chitwood said there were subpoenas out for a different incident along the same lines as this case, and arrests in that case may be possible as well.
Chitwood held a similar news briefing last month after several incidents of antisemitic behavior were reported in Volusia County.
That includes incidents in Daytona Beach during the Daytona 500 and in Ormond Beach last month.
The sheriff said the people behind the messages are part of a neo-Nazi group that moved to Florida in December. News 6 is not sharing their name.
Since then, Chitwood said that he has been informed of several threats against him, including a threatening phone call to his daughter and a swatting attempt against his parents.
Chitwood has also been criticizing antisemitic people on social media, where he has also been attacked. Chitwood blamed the anonymity of social media for proliferating extremism.
“To see the emails and phone calls that come in from Vegas, Albany, New York, San Francisco, you name it, they’re coming in from all over the place,” Chitwood said. “It’s scary to think that there’s pockets of these cowardly scumbags that operate anonymously.”
At the same time, Chitwood said some teenagers were arrested recently for vandalizing a Volusia County high school with swastikas.
In response, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is selling merchandise featuring the cartoon below, with the proceeds going toward youth education against antisemitism.
“What we’re gonna ask the judge to do with these three little cherubs is that when sentencing comes, part of their sentence is that they have to go to the Holocaust Museum in Tampa — since they really didn’t understand, is what they told us... well, you’re teenagers in high school, you should understand that,” Chitwood said. “So we’re going to start educating, and the best way to defeat, or at least contain extremism is through unity and sunshine, and the best way to make sure we don’t have it is education. Education eradicates hate.”
As promised: All proceeds from our new anti-Nazi T-shirts & mugs will benefit a new @vsy_foundation program to transport youth to the @FLHolocaustMus, where they’ll learn the history neo-Nazis want to deny.— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) March 10, 2023
Pre-order now: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Proud to reject hate @VolusiaSheriff pic.twitter.com/7wPnLeTDHq
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