A now-former sheriffs deputy was arrested on child abuse allegations on Sunday after allegedly performing an exorcism on his son and then arming his daughter with a rifle and ordering her to shoot anyone who entered their apartment.
During an interview with deputies, the girl said that when she woke up that morning, her father, 37 year old Christopher Dougherty, told her there were demons in the house and they needed to burn things that were possessed, according to the Mail Online.
Dougherty, who had worked with the Florida sheriff’s office since 2006, was arrested on the same day he was fired from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on an unrelated matter, according to the agency.
Fox News reports: Deputies responded Thursday to a 911 call about a residential alarm and determined there was evidence of child abuse at the apartment occupied by Dougherty.
A girl, wearing body armor and a Kevlar helmet, was lying on the ground in a shooting position with a rifle. A boy was armed with a Taser, and Dougherty was in possession of a handgun, the Orlando Sentinel reported, citing the arrest affidavit.
The children told investigators Dougherty performed an exorcism on the boy before telling the girl that there were demons in the home and directing her to shoot anyone who entered.
Dougherty was detained and taken to a hospital where he was held under the Baker Act, a Florida law enabling those determined likely to inflict harm to themselves or others to receive emergency mental health services, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News. He was arrested Sunday after his release.
Dougherty was also terminated from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Sunday for “an unsatisfactory performance finding in a separate matter,” the agency said, without providing details.
“While this deputy was terminated for a pattern of unsatisfactory performance, these are very serious criminal allegations,” Sheriff John Mina said in a statement to Fox News. “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.”