Man Accused of Threatening Sheriff Gets Surprise 'Welcome'

'Welcome to Florida,' threatened Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood tells extradited suspect
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2023 10:05 AM CDT

A New Jersey man extradited to Florida to face a charge of threatening a local sheriff was greeted Monday by that very man. As Richard Golden descended an escalator at Orlando Sanford International Airport in the company of officers, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood stood at the bottom. "Hope you enjoy your stay," he told Golden, 38, per WKMG. "Welcome to Florida." Chitwood had promised to welcome the man who allegedly threatened to kill the sheriff for his condemnation of neo-Nazis. Chitwood had spoken out about the spread of antisemitic messaging amid last month's Daytona 500, per WESH.

Golden was arrested earlier this month at the Monmouth Junction home he shares with his mother after investigators traced comments made on 4chan, per the Daily Beast. "Just shoot Chitwood in the head and he stops being a problem," Golden allegedly wrote. "Just shoot Chitwood in the head—murder him." "I wanted him to look in my eye and say, 'You're the guy I wanna put a bullet in your head,'" Chitwood said Monday. But "he didn't say a word." Video footage suggests Golden mumbled something as he passed the sheriff, but it's not clear what.

Chitwood previously described Golden as "anti-government" and "anti-law enforcement." He's "a marginalized member of society, who spends hours and hours and hours in these extremist chat rooms," the sheriff said. Authorities continue to investigate other threats against the sheriff. He's described a swatting attempt on his parents and a threatening phone call to his daughter, per WKMG. But "I stand with my Jewish friends, and I'm honored to be on your hit list," he said last month, per WESH. "It's an honor to be sought after by a bunch of punk thugs like you." He's promised to welcome any extradited suspects in a similar way, per WOFL. (More Florida stories.)

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