Polk Co. man arrested for starting bon fire during burn ban; threatened to kill Sheriff Judd

Posted at 4:04 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 16:39:58-04

A Lakeland man is under arrest for burning trash during a strict burn ban and for threatening to kill firefighters, deputies, and even Sheriff Grady Judd himself.

Around 6:45 in the morning on Tuesday, Polk County Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to the 2400 block of Christy Lane in Lakeland after receiving a call regarding a small fire that was burning while a strict burn ban in the county was in effect. 

Upon their arrival, they saw an actively burning fire within the fenced in property. One of the Fire Rescue officials explained to the property owner, William David Anderson, 58, that a burn ban was currently in effect in Polk County and that he was currently in violation of the ban due to the bonfire on his property. Anderson initially told the official that they could extinguish the fire. 

As two of the emergency personnel walked back to the fire truck to prepare to extinguish the fire, Anderson approached the third Fire Rescue official stating for them to get off his property and that he would shoot all of them. As Anderson was approaching the official he had his left hand in his pocket, which caused the official to believe that Anderson may have been armed.

Anderson then stated that he would "put a bullet in Grady's head". Anderson had made several other statements where he specifically said "Grady Judd". 

"I get threats all the time, it comes with the territory," Judd told ABC Action News.

Officials managed to arrest Anderson when he left and came back to the property.

"I don’t know if the guy thinks he’s Smokey Bear but all he is is a jail bird. He’s locked up and that’s where he should be," he said.

Wednesday afternoon a judge set Anderson's bond at $6,225.