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A former Florida deputy was arrested after allegedly performing an exorcism on his son and arming his daughter with a rifle to rid the home of ‘demons.’
Christopher Dougherty, 37, is facing charges of child abuse after Orange County deputies arrived at his home and discovered his daughter armed with a rifle and wearing a Kevlar helmet and bullet proof vest laying on the floor in a “shooting position,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
Orange County deputies went to the home of Dougherty, a fellow Orange County Sheriff’s deputy, Thursday after getting a 911 call in reference to an alleged child abuse incident involving weapons.
They arrived to find Dougherty armed with a handgun and were able to secure him. As authorities were attempting to clear the home, they found his daughter “laying prone on the floor” with a rifle. She was in a “shooting position” and was wearing a Kevlar helmet and bullet proof vest, according to the affidavit.
“Deputies were able to convince her to come out of the room,” the affidavit said.
A boy in the home was also armed with a Taser.
The young girl later told authorities that when she woke up that day her father told her “there were demons in the house and they needed to burn the things that were possessed.”
They burned some items in a drain in the parking lot.
Dougherty also allegedly performed an “exorcism” on his son to rid of dark spirits in the home.
Dougherty’s daughter told authorities she had been “terrified for her life,” and had called a family friend.
“Her father Christopher instructed her to go into the bedroom, lay down and shoot anyone who entered the residence,” the affidavit said.
The girl told authorities that she “trusts her father and would have shot anyone who came in.”
The sheriff’s office concluded that Dougherty had knowingly put his daughter “in harm’s way by intentionally providing her a rifle and instructing her to shoot anyone who entered their residence” and arrested him for child abuse.
He was taken to a hospital where he was held under the Baker Act, which allows for individuals to be involuntary committed if they appear to be a danger to themselves or others, and then was arrested after his release, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office obtained by Oxygen.com.
A few days after the incident, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office fired Dougherty for “unsatisfactory performance” in a separate manner. He had been with the department since January 2006.
“While this deputy was terminated for a pattern of unsatisfactory performance, these are very serious criminal allegations,” Sheriff John Mina said in the statement. “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.”
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