TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A New Jersey man’s anonymous threat on the internet forum 4chan ended up getting him in trouble after he said someone should murder a Florida sheriff, authorities said.
In a Tuesday press conference, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced that Richard Golden, 38, of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, was arrested for his threats against the sheriff’s life, which included “putting a bullet in [his] head.”
According to Chitwood, Golden made the threats on a 4chan chat on Feb. 22 in response to the sheriff’s efforts to eradicate antisemitism and Neo Nazi activity in his county, specifically a press conference where Chitwood showed solidarity with the Jewish community.
The sheriff’s office said Golden, on an anonymous account, said “Just shoot Chitwood in the head and he stops being a problem. They have to find a new guy to be the problem.
“But shooting Chitwood in the head solves an immediate problem permanently. Just shoot Chitwood in the head and murder him.”
Chitwood made it clear that he was not amused by the comment — saying threats like this have led to violence toward marginalized communities, especially in extremist group chats.
“Extremism is extremism. Here’s a clown, sitting in his bedroom, who’s indoctrinated by this bull — and thinks the best way to solve the problem is to put a bullet in my head,” he said. “Well, remove me from the equation. What happened to the synagogue in Pittsburgh? Somebody indoctrinated by this bull—- goes in and wipes out the people in a synagogue.”
The sheriff said his agency was notified of the threat by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX), which launched a joint investigation into Golden’s threats.
Using the IP address connected to the anonymous account, authorities tracked it to Golden. Authorities said that according to his mother, the suspect has no job, stays in his room at his mother’s house, and spends his time on the internet.
“I guess if I looked like this, I wouldn’t want to be identified, being 38 years old living in my mother’s back bedroom with no job,” Chitwood said.
Body camera video from the South Brunswick Police Department showed officers finding Golden at his mother’s home. According to Chitwood, Golden faces extradition to Florida on a charge of threat of serious bodily injury or death.
“I cannot wait to meet him when he gets off the plane,” the sheriff said. “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.”
Chitwood has faced harassment from other white supremacist groups for his anti-racism work, including a failed “swatting” attempt and harassing calls made to one of his daughters.
However, the sheriff said he will continue to combat hate in his jurisdiction.