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Florida man in custody after family member reports he threatened to burn down hospital: officers

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A Florida man is behind bars after threatening to burn down a hospital in a revenge plot aimed at drawing the attention of the FBI.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said a family member of 56-year-old Glenn Schaeffer called deputies to report that he left his home Monday night dressed in camouflage and possibly armed with a pipe bomb or Molotov cocktails.

Patrol units located Schaeffer and attempted to apprehend him near US Highway 41 S and Pennsylvania Avenue, but he refused to get out of his car and eventually fled.

Officers later contacted Schaeffer again at his home in Gibsonton and took him into custody without incident.

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Glenn Schaeffer, 56, is charged with threatening to burn down St. Joseph’s Hospital.
(Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

Agents searched his vehicle and reportedly found two firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and bottles with an unknown liquid.

The HCSO bomb squad went to the scene to investigate the liquid and bottles and found that the liquid was not flammable. An FBI Tampa Division agent also responded to the location.

Schaeffer reportedly admitted to detectives that he was “upset and planning to ignite the fluid at St. Joseph Hospital – South.” He also allegedly told detectives that the weapons were for hospital security guards and “anyone else who might pose a threat to him.”

The sheriff’s office said it also admitted that it wanted to bring it to the attention of the FBI.

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A Google Earth image shows the exterior of St. Joseph Hospital.

A Google Earth image shows the exterior of St. Joseph Hospital.
(Google Earth)

In a statement, Sheriff Chad Chronister said ensuring the safety of the community is a shared responsibility.

“I commend the family member in this case for reporting the suspect’s threatening behavior and the quick actions of our officers that thwarted potential harm to others,” Chronister wrote.

A Florida man was arrested at his home after threatening to burn down a hospital and running from police.

A Florida man was arrested at his home after threatening to burn down a hospital and running from police.
(Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

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Jail records show Schaeffer is charged with felony fleeing to elude and possessing a destructive device with intent to harm. He is in jail on a $9,500 bond.

The sheriff’s office said the investigation is still active and there may be more charges pending.

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