Threats Land Man in Jail

Twenty years after three people were killed at the Gulf County Courthouse, new security concerns have come up. Gulf County commissioners held an emergency meeting Wednesday in response to the Tuesday arrest of a man who was threatening them and other Gulf County court house employees.

Forty-nine-year-old Raymond J. Wood was arrested for assault or battery on a law enforcement officer. The arrest report says that Wood was at the court house in Port St. Joe causing a disturbance and making threats, yelling, "Today will be the day that ends it all."

Gulf County Sheriff Dalton Upchruch tells NewsChannel 7 this is not the first time Wood has been arrested for making threats.

Since the first of the year, employees of the Sheriff's Office and courthouse have filed seven different police reports against Mr. Wood for threatening phone calls and letters.

In January, Wood was arrested for extortion and blackmail after sending a threatening letter and making phone calls to the sheriff and several deputies.

Commissioner Bill Williams says Wood has also been spotted at several county commission meetings yelling at commissioners for their decisions.

"We have issued an injunction that will have him barred from any public facilities. We also spoke with the sheriff and the judge regarding increased security measures that we'll take within the county from magnitometers to police force out in front of our public buildings."

These threats are being taken very seriously by the Gulf County Commission and the Sheriff after the 1987 shooting at the courthouse in Port St. Joe where Clyde Melvin shot and killed three people, including Judge W. L. Bailey.