Police: Fla. man accused of Walmart shooting threat posted on Facebook about 'ethnostate'

The post that led to Richard Dean Clayton’s arrest took place one day after the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso


By Jeff Weiner
Orlando Sentinel

WINTER PARK. Fla. — A Florida man accused of posting a mass shooting threat on Facebook had a history of posts about racist and white supremacist ideology, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Richard Dean Clayton, 26, of Winter Park was arrested Friday on a charge of written threats to kill or do bodily harm. He remains in the Orange County Jail, with bail set at $15,000.

The post that led to Clayton’s arrest took place one day after the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in which 22 people have died: “3 more days of probation left then I get my AR-15 back,” Clayton wrote in the Aug. 4 post, agents said. “Don’t go to walmart next week.”

According to an affidavit prepared by an FDLE special agent, Clayton had a history of racist postings on Facebook prior to the threat, including an image of a swastika and references to a white “ethnostate."

“Imagine for a moment what we’ve established [our] ethnostate physically removed all the commies and degenerates, and white birthrates are back in the positives,” a July 24, 2018, post said, according to the FDLE. “[Who] would there be left to make fun of?”

The posts also included racial slurs referencing African Americans and Jews, the affidavit said.

“[A]pparently I have a warrant out too, but my lawyer goes to a hearing for it next week so I might be free soon,” he wrote Oct. 19, 2018, authorities said. “Just packin pistols and beating monkeys.”

A photo posted July 5, 2018, showed a shirtless white man wearing a stars and stripes bandanna around his face, an AR-15 style rifle in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other, posing in front of a Trump banner, according to the affidavit.

The posts were made under a false name, according to investigators. In rants on the page, Clayton complained that his main account had been banned by Facebook, the affidavit states.

“Based on the recent events that occurred in El Pas[o], Texas and the arrest of Patrick Crusius, your affiant has serious concerns that the suspect has threatened on Facebook to commit an act of terrorism or conduct a mass-shooting in a similar manner,” Special Agent Brett Hougland wrote.

Crusius, the accused gunman in the El Paso shooting, confessed to officers while he was surrendering that he had been targeting Mexicans, according to reports.

During his arrest, Clayton was “very uncooperative and belligerent,” the arresting officer wrote.

“Officer I hope that the next call you go to you get blown away and killed... God I pray that happens,” he said, according to the officer’s report.

He also asked if the officer was Hispanic, the report said.

“They are what is wrong with this country... they come in and are ruining everything,” Clayton said, according to the officer, who said Clayton also called him a Nazi. Clayton threatened to urinate in the officer’s car but decided not to after being told that the officer was not Hispanic, the report states.

“Ok well then I guess I won’t pee in your car then,” he said, according to the report.

According to FDLE records, Clayton has a history of arrests on charges including driving while under the influence, disorderly intoxication, carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana possession.

©2019 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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