Florida sheriff hurls expletives at neo-Nazi 'scumbags' invading his county
Mike Chitwood. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

Mike Chitwood, the sheriff of Volusia County, Florida, proclaimed he will be on the "hit list" of a neo-Nazi group after he identified them as the source of hate group activity in the Daytona Beach area — and he is not backing down, according to The Daily Beast on Monday.

"Chitwood identified the Goyim Defense League (GDL) as the organization behind the disturbing behavior, which included leaving antisemitic flyers on people’s doorsteps and hanging anti-Jewish banners from busy pedestrian bridges during Daytona 500 weekend," reported Justin Rohrlich. "On Feb. 17, the GDL held a demonstration outside Chabad of South Orlando, harassing pedestrians and motorists, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The next day, members hung signs at the Daytona International Speedway with sayings such as, 'Henry Ford was right about the Jews.' They later projected antisemitic slogans on the outside of the track, with one reading, 'Hitler was right.'"

At his press conference on the incident, Chitwood said, “These scumbags came to the wrong county… We are not going to tolerate this. This is not about free speech. This is about violence.”

GDL members, who have already been busted for agitating in Florida, are led by Jon Minadeo, who maintains that his group has “never, ever done anything violent towards Jews.”

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"Chitwood ran through a laundry list of arrests and charges the 15 or so GDLers seen in town had on their records," said the report. "'Let’s take a look at these cowardly scumbags,' he said, before walking reporters through a rogue’s gallery of those suspected to have been involved. Their rap sheets included stalking, threatening a public official, aggravated assault, murder, terroristic threats, vandalism for defacing a memorial for victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre, and soliciting a 14 year-old for sex." Chitwood then proclaimed he is on GDL's "hit list," and that it is a "badge of honor," daring them to “put a bullet in the back of my head.”

Asked for comment by The Daily Beast, Chitwood had some extra words directly for Minadeo: “Excuse my French, but f**k you, motherf**ker.”

In recent years, neo-Nazi groups have sought to recruit all over the country, often using racist fliers, but a number of particularly public incidents have occurred in Florida; last year, extremists hung swastika flags from a highway overpass in Orlando. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis condemned the neo-Nazis, calling them "jackasses," but also complained that Democrats were overhyping the incident to make him look bad.