CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A Clay County judge set bond Wednesday for a Green Cove Springs man accused of attempting to conduct a "citizen's arrest" against Sheriff Michelle Cook while openly carrying a gun on the sheriff's office property.
Deputies arrested 55-year-old Robert Abel Sunday. An arrest report says Abel called the sheriff's office Friday, claiming to work for the President of the United States, demanding Cook be in her office at 9 a.m. Sunday or else "there would be hell to pay."
Abel then demanded a letter of resignation on her desk or else he would arrest her for "abandoning her post," the report says.
The deputies were providing security in the parking lot due to the suspicious phone call when Abel arrived, armed with a black handgun inside a cross-draw-style shoulder harness, according to an arrest report. He was wearing a green "Army" polo shirt, green camouflage pants and tactical boots, the report says.
Abel gave the deputies his driver's license, the report says. Deputies asked him for any government or law enforcement credentials, which he did not provide, according to the report.
The report says Abel placed his right hand on the holster carrying the gun. That's when one of the deputies grabbed the gun, ripped it from Abel's holster and removed it from the altercation, the report says.
Abel tensed his body and deputies put him on the ground, hitting him with their fists and knees until he complied, according to the report. Deputies then put Abel in the back of their patrol car and searched his vehicle.
Inside a bag, deputies found more .40 magazines loaded with ammunition, the report says. Investigators also found a ballistic plate carrier with plates, more loose .40 caliber ammunition, several military ready-to-eat meals and other snacks, medical supplies, medication and a change of clothes.
Abel did have a concealed carry permit, according to the report.
In an interview inside the jail, Abel admitted he was the one who called the sheriff's office Friday, threatening to arrest the sheriff, according to the report.
Abel told investigators he was going to make a "citizen's arrest" and reiterated his claim of working for the president, the report says. He told deputies he was going to confront the sheriff about previous burglaries at his home. He showed investigators a gold ring he was wearing that had "W Gar" engraved on the inside and claimed the president gave it to him, according to the report.
Sheriff Cook shared the following statement with First Coast News regarding the incident:
"The incident Sunday morning is yet another example of the dangers law enforcement officers face every day. I am extremely thankful that none of my deputies were injured as this could have had a much more tragic ending."
Abel was charged with carrying a weapon openly and resisting arrest without violence. Wednesday morning, bond was set at $100,002 for the weapon charge and $25,002 for resisting arrest.
The State Attorney's Office also motioned that Abel be required to forfeit his firearms, which the judge approved.
Abel's next court appearance was scheduled for April 5.