POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida sheriff’s deputy was arrested Tuesday on allegations he made threatening remarks the night of the U.S. Capitol riots.
Deputy Peter Heneen, 29, has been suspended pending termination from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Grady Judd said an investigation into messages he is accused of sending on Jan. 6 during the riots at the U.S. Capitol revealed “absolutely frightening things.”
Judd said Heneen was sending messages to a fellow deputy in which he wrote things such as “f*** the feds,” “Shoot the feds,” “I’ll f****** kill them all,” “take the fight to them,” and “Need to have the streets of D.C. red run with the blood of the tyrants.”
Judd said a lot of what Heneen allegedly said was “hate talk” but that it ventured into illegal threats of violence multiple times.
“As you can see, I am angry beyond words,” the sheriff said.
Judd added, however, that he is “super proud” of the deputy on the other side of the message chain that reported his colleague.
“The good news is, one of our deputies did the right thing,” Judd said. “Gave information of a written threat by one of his colleagues.”
Following the investigation into the conversation, Heneen was arrested and charged with a second-degree felony of making threats.
“Having him arrested was important,” Judd said. “Having him arrested before Inauguration Day was even more important.”
The deputy that turned Heneen in has returned to work.
“You issue a written threat, you’re gonna get locked up, too,” Judd said. “No matter who you are. Because we are going to ensure the safety and security of this community and quite frankly, it’s time for this entire nation to take a deep breath, and to calm down …”
Judd said all employees of the sheriff’s office go through rigorous background checks that include a psychological evaluation and a polygraph test.
“And he passed all of that,” he said.
Online jail records show Heneen was released from the Polk County Jail on a $5,000 surety bond.