A Florida sheriff recently confronted a New Jersey man who allegedly threatened to kill him in a post online – by meeting him at the airport.
Richard Golden, 38, stands accused of one count of making a written threat to kill or do bodily injury, according to Volusia County Jail records. He was charged earlier this month for allegedly threatening Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood in a 4chan bulletin board “due to the sheriff’s recent stand against a neo-Nazi hate group.”
“In the chat, various users were discussing Sheriff Chitwood’s response to recent hate activity in Volusia County,” a VCSO press release says. “One anonymous user (later identified as Golden) stated: ‘Just shoot Chitwood in the head and he stops being a problem. They have to find a new guy to be the problem.’ He added: ‘But shooting Chitwood in the head solves an immediate problem permanently. Just shoot Chitwood in the head and murder him.’ The information was flagged by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX), launching a joint investigation that ultimately identified Golden.”
The offending posts were allegedly made on Feb. 22 in response to Chitwood speaking out against a series of antisemitic protests by anonymous people wearing masks in Florida earlier this year. The sheriff says that he and his family have been repeatedly targeted by neo-Nazis as a result.
The defendant was arrested at his mother’s house in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey on March 14, the VCSO said.
“I cannot wait to meet him when he gets off the plane,” Sheriff Chitwood said during a press conference announcing the charge. “Because one of the first faces he’s going to see welcoming him to the Volusia County Jail, the happiest place on earth, is going to be me.”
Golden was extradited to the Sunshine State on Monday.
Chitwood made good on that earlier statement during a brief interaction at Orlando-Sanford International Airport.
“I’m Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood…” Chitwood said to Golden as the man acknowledged him before walking on. “Hope you enjoy your stay. Welcome to Florida.”
In a follow-up interview, the sheriff criticized the defendant for refusing to speak up for himself as he stepped off the escalator.
“I wanted him to look in my eye and say, ‘You’re the guy I wanna put a bullet in your head,’” Chitwood said. “He walked right by me. I mean, how gutless can you be?”
The sheriff went on to denigrate “keyboard commandos” who post racist and antisemitic threats in extremist-oriented spaces online.
“They’re preaching all this stuff about wiping out a race, wiping out a religion,” Chitwood said. “We’re not going to stand for it.”
The defendant is currently being detained on $100,000 bond. If he were to make bail, he would be able to return to the Garden State.
Watch the meeting and more in the player below:
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