VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL – A New Jersey man who made an anonymous online threat to kill Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood due to the sheriff’s recent stand against a neo-Nazi hate group was arrested at his mother’s house Monday and faces extradition to Volusia County to face his felony charge.
Sheriff Chitwood announced Monday’s arrest of 38-year-old Richard Golden of Monmouth Junction, NJ, in a Tuesday news conference, again denouncing the hateful and violent rhetoric circulating online among fringe members of society.
“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.”
Golden, charged with making a written threat to kill or cause injury, posted the threat in a 4chan chat on February 22. In the chat, various users were discussing Sheriff Chitwood’s response to recent hate activity in Volusia County. One anonymous user (later identified as Golden) stated: “Just shoot Chitwood in the head and he stops being a problem. They have to find a new guy to be the problem.” He added: “But shooting Chitwood in the head solves an immediate problem permanently. Just shoot Chitwood in the head and murder him.”
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The information was flagged by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX), launching a joint investigation that ultimately identified Golden, who was living in his mother’s home in Monmouth Junction, NJ.
When contacted by members of an FBI task force and South Brunswick Police Department officers, Golden’s mother indicated her son stays in his room and is always on the Internet. She said he doesn’t work, rarely leaves the house, and is hostile toward law enforcement and the government.
Golden was arrested without incident Monday afternoon by South Brunswick police.
Sheriff Chitwood thanked the law enforcement partners involved in making the arrest, including South Brunswick PD, the FBI and task force members, CFIX, State Attorney R.J. Larizza and the Middlesex County, NJ, Prosecutors Office.
“The anonymous nature of the internet may make people feel they can say anything, but if you make threats or put people in fear we will use all our resources to track you down,” South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in his own announcement of the arrest. “Yesterday showed that being 974 miles away from the Volusia Sheriff’s Office was no distance too great for the teamwork of law enforcement.”
Golden was transported to the Middlesex County Corrections Center to be held pending extradition to Volusia County.
According to authorities, Nazi sympathizers and hate group supporters have made several unsuccessful attempts at intimidating Sheriff Chitwood and his family, including a failed “swatting” of the sheriff’s parents’ home (making a false 911 call threatening violence in an attempt to provoke a police response) and harassing one of his daughters.