• Winter Park man who dared feds to arrest him after threatening congressman, takes plea deal

    By: Mark Boxley


    WINTER PARK, Fla. - A Winter Park man accused of leaving a profanity-laced, threatening voice mail for a U.S. congressman has accepted a plea agreement in the case.

    Charles Zachary Howard was incredulous while speaking with Channel 9 reporter Jeff Levkulich on March 16 about a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

    While speaking to Channel 9, he dared federal authorities to arrest him, which they did a few minutes later.

    A criminal complaint in the case said that on March 8 Howard called an unnamed congressman and threatened to kill him.

    “I suggest you prepare for the battle (expletive) and the apocalypse,” the voicemail said. “Cause we’re going to hunt your (expletive) down, wrap a rope around your neck and hang you from a lamp post.”

    “I didn’t threaten anybody,” Howard said when confronted with the federal complaint in March.

    After walking away, Howard came back and pointed to a vehicle parked down the street.

    “The FBI is right down here. Why aren’t they coming to arrest me?” he asked. “They have me right here in public.”

    Minutes later Howard was arrested.

    Read: Winter Park man accused of threatening congressman dares feds to arrest him, and they do

    He was charged with transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure the person of another, which he agreed to plea guilty to in a plea agreement filed Tuesday.

    When he is sentenced, Howard could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

    As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors recommended Howard not receive the maximum penalty, noting that he had accepted responsibility for his actions.

    See the incident in Winter Park as it unfolded (Warning: Graphic language)

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