A mentally-ill police officer from Florida was recently arrested after he instructed children to help him in performing a bizarre exorcism while giving one of them a gun telling her to “shoot at demons.”
The law enforcement officer was identified as 37-year-old Christopher Dougherty of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Dougherty was fired from the department for an unrelated infraction on the same day of his arrest and had been on the force since 2006. Dougherty reportedly told the two children that there were demons in the house, and he needed their help to exorcise the home.
The man had also given a taser to a child who is presumed to be the subject that was being exercised in the officer’s bizarre ritual.
Someone in the home had accidentally tripped an alarm inside the house, which prompted police to arrive on the scene. Once they had arrived, they saw the scene of child endangerment and decided to enter the door. Upon entering the premises they found a young girl dressed in body armor and a Kevlar helmet, lying on the ground with a rifle in a shooting position. There was also a young boy in the house who had a taser. Dougherty himself was also armed with a handgun when the police had arrived.
The children said that Dougherty was performing an exorcism on the adolescent boy and that he had told the girl that there were demons in the house, and instructed her to shoot any intruders that had entered the home.
Dougherty was detained and taken to a mental hospital where he was held under the Baker Act, and then restrained after he was discharged from the hospital a few days later. On the exact same day as his arrest, he was dismissed from the sheriff’s office, but the agency insists that his firing was related to “an unsatisfactory performance finding in a separate matter,” and had nothing to do with the exorcism situation.
In a statement to Fox News, Orange County Sheriff John Mina told the news agency that he was concerned about the officer’s mental well-being.
“While this deputy was terminated for a pattern of unsatisfactory performance, these are very serious criminal allegations. 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,” Mina said.
It is unknown what Dougherty’s relationship was to the two children that were in his home. Such an odd story and well timed for the Halloween holiday season with the haunted house element and exorcism.