A Florida Sheriff has been forced to lock up one of his own deputies over a series of "absolutely frightening" threats made against fellow law enforcement.
Peter Heneen, a 29-year-old Polk County Deputy of six years, was arrested and charged with second-degree felony of written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Sheriff Grady Judd admitted he was "not really excited" to break the news, but added he was duty bound to total transparency, which included delivering the good news and the "not so good news."
"It's important to understand — not just today, not just the last month, but forever — that words matter," he said. "And threatening words to hurt, to kill, are not acceptable."
Judd explained that on the night of the Capitol riots on January 6, Heneen began texting a fellow deputy, apparently furious the officers who shot invaders had not in turn been killed.
The deputy passed the texts to his lieutenant, and Heneen was arrested.
"'You shot someone for what? Climbing into a building?'" Judd said, reading the texts. "'You need to shoot the [blank] back. F--- the Feds. Shoot the Fed.'"
"'Need to make the streets of D.C. run red with blood of the tyrants,'" — the tyrants being the Feds, Judd explained. "'Should have drug those tyrants out into the streets and executed them. Sick of the corruption.'"
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Texting back, the witness warned he would "disappear" one night if he kept talking like that.
"Bull. I'll F------ kill the Feds," Heneen allegedly wrote back, insisting the FBI and federal government were all corrupt.
Trying to talk him down, the witness insisted he'd only be able take out one or two feds before being killed himself.
"Nah I got a plan for that. At least I'll take them, I'll f------- kill them all," he wrote back, claiming "I have my stuff next to the bed ready to go."
"I'll slit their throats if they touch any of my family," he added. "I'll make them suffer."
According to Judd, Heneen hadn't even broken the law by this point; all of the above was just hate talk... until he wrote this:
"'Unless you take the fight to them,'" Judd read. "So he's now talking proactively about what will happen in the future."
When the witness asked if he was going to take on everybody by himself, Heneed replied: "Nope - me and all the other patriots and militias. Oh no, it's not over. Any cop or military who stands in the way is the enemy."
Judd added: "The first amendment allows us to rant and rave about anything we want; it does not allow us to issue a written threat, to injure, to hurt, to kill. And that's what Heneen did, and that's why he's locked up."
"Having him arrested was important; having him arrested before Inauguration Day was even more important."
While Judd said he was "angry beyond words" at the actions of the deputy, he was equally proud of the deputy who reported him.
"He stood in the face of not only one of his colleagues, but one of his friends," he said, adding that because of the nature of the conversation, the witness also had to be investigated for threats, and fully cooperated.
Judd said there was no evidence Heneen was connected to any organized militia group. His record only contained a handful of minor infractions, including some crashes and an 8 hour suspension for refusing a superior's command to shine his own shoes.
Aside from the charges, Heneen has been suspended pending termination process.