U.S.

Florida man in custody after family member reports threat to burn down hospital: deputies

A Florida man is behind bars after threatening to burn down a hospital in a revenge plan aimed at getting 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 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 stop him near US Highway 41 S and Pennsylvania Avenue, but he refused to exit his car and eventually fled.

Later on, deputies made contact with Schaeffer again at his home in Gibsonton and took him into custody without incident.

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

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

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

Schaeffer reportedly admitted to detectives that he was “upset and planning on igniting the liquid at St. Joseph’s Hospital – South.” He also allegedly told detectives the guns were for hospital security guards and “anyone else that would pose a threat to him.”

The sheriff’s office said he also admitted he wanted to get the attention of the FBI.

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

A Google Earth image shows the exterior of St. Joseph’s 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 swift actions of our deputies that thwarted the potential harm to others,” Chronister wrote.

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

A Florida man was arrested at his home after threatening to burn down a hospital and fleeing 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 the intent to harm. He is in jail on $9,500 bond. 

The sheriff’s office said the investigation remains active and more charges could be pending.

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