A Gainesville, Fla. man was arrested on hate crime charges Thursday after police say he threatened to lynch the president of the Alachua County NAACP chapter.
Ronald Morris Wadford, 75, was arrested on two counts of aggravated stalking, according to court records obtained by The Gainesville Sun.
Authorities said Morris, who was listed as homeless, called NAACP president Evelyn Foxx six times between Nov. 9, 2016 and Nov. 21, 2016 and stated he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, a complaint to the Gainesville Police Department stated. In one case, he even warned he was coming to her house to lynch her.
Affidavits state that during these calls, Wadford threatened Foxx by saying, “I’m going to hang your (racial slur) ass.”
The threats were enough for Foxx to flee town in fear for her life, forcing her to stay with out of state relatives for several weeks, according to police. Even after returning to Florida, Foxx chose to live at a different address in a different county to avoid Wadford.
Records show Wadford has an extensive criminal history spanning several states, including charges for multiple counts of cocaine and narcotics possessions, weapons possessions and even maiming. A witness described the homeless man as a racist with a lot of ” … hate and violence in his heart,” adding that Wadford kept an arsenal of knives and machetes.
He once talked about “going out in a blaze of glory,” the witness said.
A department spokesman said Foxx is still receiving racial threats and that someone threw a Confederate flag on her front lawn in early July. Police haven’t identified any suspects and are still investigating the incident.
As for Wadford, his bail was set at $500,000, according to the newspaper.