ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A now-former Orange County deputy was arrested over the weekend after he performed an exorcism on one child, and armed another with a rifle and instructed them to shoot anyone who entered their home, according to an arrest warrant.
The sheriff’s office said deputy Christopher Dougherty, 37, who was hired in January 2006 and worked in the uniform patrol division, was arrested after deputies responded to a 911 call about a residential alarm and said they found evidence of child abuse.
According to an arrest warrant, a child told deputies that Dougherty armed her with a rifle, bulletproof vest and Kevlar helmet and told her to lie down in a bedroom and shoot anyone who entered after he performed an exorcism on another child.
Deputies said Dougherty was taken to the hospital where he was held under the Baker Act. They said upon his release from the hospital, he was arrested.
Deputies said Dougherty was taken into custody Sunday, the same day his job with the department was terminated for “an unsatisfactory performance finding in a separate matter.”
“While this deputy was terminated for a pattern of unsatisfactory performance, these are very serious criminal allegations,” Sheriff John Mina said in a statement. “As law enforcement officers, we are held to the highest standards of conduct whether on duty or off duty. But we are also concerned about the deputy’s mental health.”