If he had not been arrested, the third day would have been Aug. 9. But white supremacist Richard D. Clayton was taken into custody after investigators say he wrote on Facebook about a shooting at a Winter Park, Florida Walmart with an AR15 semi-automatic rifle, police said.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents arrested Clayton, 26, for written threats to kill or do bodily harm after a joint investigation by FDLE, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Winter Park Police Department.
State agents said Clayton posted the threat on the social networking site on Aug. 6.
Clayton, who has a previous arrest for a bizarre incident last fall, is a follower of white supremacist ideology, law enforcement said.
He’s being held in jail on $15,000 bond.
Heavy spoke to, and then emailed, FDLE spokesperson Gretl Plessinger but has yet to hear back with answers to a number of questions. This post will be updated when, or if, those questions are answered.
In the meantime, here’s what you need to know.
1. The FBI & Florida Agents Say Clayton Wrote, ‘3 More Days of Probation Left Then I get My AR-15 Back. Don’t Go to Walmart Next Week’
Florida law enforcement agents say the investigation began on Aug. 6 “after Clayton made a threat on Facebook saying.”
Neither the FDLE nor the FBI responded to a request for information or images of the alleged posts, but say Clayton wrote, “3 more days of probation left then I get my AR-15 back. Don’t go to Walmart next week.”
Saying it has “zero tolerance for threats,” like the kind Clayton is alleged to have made, the “full force of the Joint Terrorism Task Force” will be used to “ensure the public’s safety,” the FDLE Facebook post reads.
2. Agents Say Clayton Subscribes to White Supremacist Principles & Has Previously Posted Threats
In its post about Clayton, the FDLE, the Sunshine State’s leading law enforcement agency wrote that “…Clayton appears to believe in the white supremacist ideology…”
In investigators also say that he was a “history of posting threats on Facebook using fictitious accounts.”
It’s been widely reported that Clayton is alleged to have told an arresting officer that he hoped the officer would be shot. A local reporter said, “Police say while being arrested, Clayton said he prays the arresting officer would be shot, said Hispanics are ‘what is wrong with this country,’ and threatened to pee in the officer’s car. He didn’t, though, because the officer told him he is not Hispanic …”
Local media also reported that should he bond out, Clayton must steer clear of Walmart and firearms.
A request for more information on the previous threats from FDLE has not been answered.
3. Clayton Was Arrested in October of 2018 For Swimming Naked & Drunk in the Middle of a Boat Race in Clearwater, Florida
At a boat race in Clearwater in October of 2018, police said that Clayton swam in the path of the race “naked, drunk, disorderly…”
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff Office arrest affidavit, Clayton was “intoxicated” and caused a “public disturbance” when he swam in the middle of the Clearwater Super Boat Race while vessels were under way. The race had to be “shut down” so sheriff’s deputies could “safely remove” Clayton from the water.
Police said he was naked.
4. Under Florida Law, ‘Written Threats to Kill Or Conduct a Mass Shooting or an Act of Terrorism’ is a Second Degree Felony. Clayton is Being Held on $15,000 Bond
Held on a $15,000 bond at the Orange County Florida jail, Clayton is facing a second-degree felony charge. The Florida stauet says that any “written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism,’ is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Usually searchable documents on the Pinellas County clerk’s records site are not available on this case.
Clayton has a number of previous cases, albeit most are criminal traffic violations save a marijuana possession charge and an out-of-county warrant on not showing up in court.
5. As People Thanked Law Enforcement For the Arrest, One Man Said Clayton Was His Friend & Did Not ‘Come Off as a White Supremacist’
Dozens of people took to social media to thanks law enforcement, most saying the recent mass murders in El Paso and Dayton have them on edge.
“I’m so thankful you caught this and I hope he stays behind bars for a very long time and NEVER gets another gun in his possession again. Take his license away as well. Great job FDLE, FBI and all involved.”
Kevin De Castro posted on the FDLE Facebook page: “I was friends with him and we once train in martial arts together. I can tell you that of my interactions with him, he never came across as a white supremacist and never indicated or showed signs of any concern. Even when I hung out with him on rare occasion, and kept in touch with him.”
But De Castro said, “I am not excusing him for what he did and he should be held accountable for his actions. It’s pretty sad that he would make threats on social media given what just happen in El Paso and Dayton. He got a lot of explaining to do and he’s facing serious time given that the FBI is involved …”