HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Haines City man, and former Ohio police officer, is now in jail after police say he made online threats of violence in the nation’s capital.
According to the Haines City Police Department, 53-year-old Shannon Badgett is being charged with communicating a written threat to conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism.
Police say Badgett’s threats were reported by one of his Facebook contacts.
Badgett’s Facebook post referenced the ongoing election controversies and said “our courts are unable to articulate their choice by refusing to hear any evidence regarding voter fraud,” a release from the police department said.
Police say he made posts about going to a “target rich environment” in Washington D.C. if President Donald Trump did not declare martial law. The post adds “Pew. Pew. Pew” to insinuate the firing of shots.
Officers say he added that a lot of good people were going to die if “Roberts” did not resign, which is a possible reference to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. In that social media post, Haines City PD said he also claimed to be building an anti-tank rifle and sub-machine guns without applying for permitting. In his post, Badgett wrote that the government can’t tell him what to do.
Police say Badgett, a former police officer in Ohio, was investigated by the FBI on Monday after allegedly sending emails to a circuit judge in Nevada. Badgett denied sending those emails.
Family members told detectives that Badgett has been diagnosed with mental health disorders. There were no guns in the home.
Badgett acknowledged writing the posts but insisted that he had no intentions of harming anyone, according to police. He said the posts were a way of expressing his frustration with voter fraud and that he was free to post whatever he liked.
He was taken to the Polk County Jail with a Baker Act form. Police say his mental health will also be evaluated. A risk protection order was served on Badgett to restrict his access to guns and ammunition.
“Given the high political tensions of late, these threats simply could not be ignored,” Police Chief Jim Elensky said. “Our detectives acted swiftly to ensure that these posts did not escalate into actions here or anywhere else. For the safety of everyone around him, he will be evaluated mentally to ensure he has access to the help he needs.”
LATEST NEWS FROM WFLA.COM:
- Tampa Bay parents concerned after state education leaders send out student performance letters
- Powerball jackpot grows to $730M; Mega Millions to be $850M
- Florida coronavirus: Over 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations administered in the state
- Baby giraffe, born while the world watched, dies at Nashville zoo
- ‘Spectacular’ bright-orange bat species discovered