Bradford deputies arrest man accused of terrorist threats against children

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:55 p.m.

Police arrested a Bradford County man Tuesday after they said he threatened to shoot children.

James Chris Fields, 57, was charged with aggravated assault and facilitating or furthering terrorism, according to Bradford County Sheriff's Capt. Brad Smith.

Smith said the Sheriff's Office received a call about Fields from Gov. Rick Scott's office Tuesday morning.

Apparently Fields contacted the Office of Citizens Services numerous times between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Monday.

He left a total of 13 phone messages.

"The initial messages were not very threatening, he was just rambling about some kids." Smith said. "In the last couple, he was talking about shooting (them)."

Bradford deputies responded and interviewed Fields. They did not find any weapons on the property and Fields did not claim to have any in the house, Smith said, but he did repeat the threat against children to the officers.

Smith said Fields has called the Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office about kids vandalizing his property, but deputies haven't found any evidence to back up his claim.

Fields lives in a rural area called River Bend Estates, Smith said, adding that Fields has been previously arrested on charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

"Our concern is that he's complained to us in the past," Smith said, "and the frightening part is that he's saying he's going to shoot kids. There's no room for error."

Fields was transported to the Bradford County Jail, where he was waiting for an initial hearing.

Smith said the Sheriff's Office wanted to be extra careful, especially in light of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.

"We're gonna make sure the neighborhoods are safe," he said, "and let the judge evaluate what kind of issue he's having."

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