Cops: Lakeland man violated burn ban, threatened to put bullet in Sheriff Judd’s head

Polk County Sheriff's Office

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A man accused of violating a countywide burn ban was arrested after he threatened to put a bullet in Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd’s head.

The incident occurred at 2431 Christy Lane in Lakeland around 6:43 am on Tuesday.

According to the affidavit, William Anderson, 58, started an altercation with a Polk County firefighters who came to the property in response to a small brush fire.

Before the altercation, three firefighters observed a bonfire on Anderson’s property that was unattended, actively burning in violation of the burn ban.

When they spoke to Anderson, they told him he was in violation of the ban and he gave them the go ahead to put out the fire.

The firefighters then tried to extinguish the flames, but Anderson suddenly changed his tune and ordered the firefighters off his property, threatening to shoot them all.

Anderson approached one of the firefighters with his left hand in his pocket, leading the firefighter to believe he was armed.

He then reportedly threatened to “put a bullet in Grady’s head,” referring Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. He had reportedly made other statements about Judd during the altercation.

Concerned for the crew’s safety, the firefighter told his colleagues to leave the area and alerted the cops.

When deputies arrived to the scene, Anderson had returned to his residence and would not come outside. After a number of attempts to get him to leave his residence, deputies released three cans of tear gas and pepper spray, but he still wouldn’t come outside.

When they forced entry into the home, Anderson was nowhere in sight.

The deputies decided to leave the residence.

“I got a wife and kids, ya know and that’s kind of dangerous, living right here. The way I seen he was crazy and stuff, I told my wife and kids to stay away,” Anderson’s neighbor Ricky Stinson told News Channel 8.

Polk County firefighters were able to safely extinguish the fire and later determined Anderson was burning glass bottles, aluminum cans, aerosol cans and a DVD player, all of which cause pollution when burned.

Anderson faces charges for the following crimes:
-Prohibited open burning
-Build fire not attend or extinguished
-Prevent, hinder firefighters or equipment
-Agg assault deadly weapon WO intent kill
-Corrupt by threat public servant or family

“People don’t get to hide behind crazy to commit crime,” said Sheriff Grady Judd in response to the threat.

“He wasn’t going to let them fight the fire, then he relented and said he could come in a put the fire out and as they were doing that he approached them with his left hand in his pocket and told them if you don’t get out of here I’m going to kill you,” Judd continued.

“Don’t really be serious about threatening me cause I’ll shoot you graveyard dead if you pose a reliable threat to me.”

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