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Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Saturday, October 6, 2012
House-arrested suspect cuts ankle bracelet, bolts

A Stock Island man placed on house arrest after posting Facebook threats against a judge, a deputy and the deputy's family cut off his GPS ankle bracelet and bolted, according to state officials.

Michael George Haggerty, 48, of D-21 10th Ave., was charged in February with two second-degree felony counts of making threats to kill or injure.

Haggerty was under house arrest, but allowed to travel for work, said Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Terry Chavez.

"Apparently he was not properly charging the GPS monitor as required," Chavez wrote in an email to The Citizen. "Shortly after being re-instructed by [11th Circuit Court Judge Leon Firtel] as to the house arrest requirements, he cut off his ankle bracelet while working a job out of state. The judge then issued a warrant for his arrest at that point."

The warrant was issued on Sept. 21. Firtel has set a trial date for Dec. 10 in Miami, Chavez said.

The Monroe County State Attorney's Office recused itself in the case because an employee in the prosecutor's office is a witness in the case, Chavez said. The case was sent to the 11th Judicial Circuit for the same reason, because circuit Judge Luis Garcia is an victim in the case, she said.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office investigators say Haggerty posted a message on his Facebook page on Feb. 16 stating: "Judge Luis Garcia has denied my rights to a fair hearing can u people believe the b------- the county n the Dowling family has made?? Time to go get my guns out of storage and even the score today people, it been fun see you in the next world!"

Haggerty, who is listed in an arrest affidavit as a cook and landscaper, had been representing himself in a case involving a restraining order filed by his former attorney, Sam Kaufman, who had represented Haggerty in a burglary case nine years ago in which the charges were dismissed.

Haggerty also has a long-standing beef with Monroe County Code Enforcement related to his Stock Island home. In 2007, Senior Inspector Nancy Dowling cited Haggerty for building a fence, reconfiguring his porch, building a downstairs enclosure and paving areas of right of way in front of his house without permits.

Dowling and her husband, Sheriff's Office Deputy Matt Dowling, were targets of the alleged threat, along with Garcia.

Key West Code Compliance Manager Jim Young told The Citizen in February he has been the focus of harassment from Haggerty since 2009, when Haggerty was cited by the city for working without a contractor's license.

A detective who spoke with Haggerty on Feb. 17 asked him why he posted such things when he knew it would create problems. Haggerty reportedly said: "Because I lie, causing you people problems; because sooner or later you are going to violate my civil rights and I am going to own you people."

During the same conversation, he allegedly told the detective that he wants "you people to be afraid" and that "there is only one way this is going to end, violently or I win a federal lawsuit," according to an arrest affidavit.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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