‘Welcome to Florida’ — Sheriff confronts ‘gutless’ NJ man after death threat bust
A Florida sheriff followed through on his promise to be the first to welcome the New Jersey man who threatened his life.
Richard Golden, 38, of the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick, is charged with making death threats against Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood in a 4Chan chat room in February. He was taken into custody on March 13 at his parent's house on Tanglewood Court and was extradited to Florida.
During a news conference announcing the charges, Chitwood, an elected official, said he was looking forward to meeting Golden.
"One of the first faces he's gonna see welcoming him to Volusia County and the Volusia County Jail, the happiest place on Earth," Chitwood said.
Volusia County is near Orlando, the home of Disney World.
Greeted by the "cross-dressing sheriff"
Chitwood was standing at the bottom of the escalator, hands on his hips, at Sanford Orlando International Airport Sunday as a cuffed and Golden headed for the terminal exit.
"Enjoy your stay, welcome to Florida," Chitwood said as Golden looked at the sheriff and kept walking without speaking.
Chitwood afterward said it was important to him for Golden to see the person he threatened. He called him "gutless" for not responding to his welcome.
"That's what we need to be afraid of? That's what the keyboard commandos are spending 20 hours a day on a keyboard in these extreme chat rooms and they want to threaten to put bullets in people's heads and don't think they're going to be held accountable," Chitwood said.
Golden is charged with threat of serious bodily injury or death. He was being held at the Volusia County jail on $100,000 bail.
How to get rid of a "problem"
The threat was made in response to a February news conference in which Chitwood described the hate group Goyim Defense League (GDL) as "cowardly scumbags." The sheriff said members of the GDL put anti-Semitic fliers on the property of Jewish homeowners and hung banners from pedestrian bridges during the Daytona 500 race.
"Just shoot Chitwood in the head he stops being a problem. They have to find a new guy to be the new problem. But shooting Chitwood in the head solves the problem immediately. Just shoot Chitwood in the head. Murder him," Golden is accused of writing in the chat.
In the same chat, Golden reportedly called Chitwood a cross-dresser who visits small children. GDL's fliers called Chitwood a "cross-dressing sheriff" and included pictures of him wearing a bra.
But Chitwood, who annually appears in the outrageous garb for charity, hit back.
"Hey losers, here are a few more photos you can use," Chitwood posted on his Twitter account.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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