GRAHAM, Fla. -- A Bradford County man was arrested after threatening to shoot children Monday night. James Fields was charged with aggravated battery and making terroristic threats.
Fields never fired a gunshot, but police arrested him for allegedly threatening to shoot children playing in his Bradford County neighborhood.
Sheriff Gordon Smith told Action News, "He was just tired of kids. So he blanketed kids as his target. He was going to take his frustrations out on them."
Deputies say the 57-year-old Fields called them out to his home dozens of times in recent years, reporting various types of suspicious activity.
Investigators tell Action News that Fields got so upset with neighborhood kids on his property that he called Gov. Scott's Tallahassee office and left 13 threatening voice mail messages late Monday.
Scott's office says several messages contained threats to shoot children. One phone message stated, "I need to get a gun and shoot one of them so their mothers can call police and say, 'my son has been shot.'"
Capt. Eddie Boatwright of the Bradford County Sheriff's Office responded Tuesday to Fields' mobile home. "I said, 'Did you make any statements to the governor's office that you were going to get a gun and kill some kids?' He said, 'I dang sure did.' At that time we took him into custody," said Boatwright.
Action News has learned Fields has a rap sheet including resisting arrest and aggravated battery of a law enforcement official.
Fields' next door neighbor, Lori Kanipes, has two young children. She told Action News, "It's kinda scary, especially after the school shootings."
The Bradford Sheriff's Office didn't want to take any chances, especially in a neighborhood filled with children.
"I really think he was just trying to get some attention," said Kanipes, "I don't think he honestly meant it. As far as I know, he has no kinds of weapons in his home."
Investigators did not find any guns inside Fields' home where he lives alone.
He's charged with aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. He's behind bars in the Bradford County jail awaiting his first court appearance Wednesday morning.