A hearing is scheduled Friday on a protective order sought by former congressman David Jolly against a man who was arrested last month on a felony charge in connection with social media threats directed at Jolly.
Clearwater man arrested in threats against Jolly
Jolly filed a petition March 2 in Pinellas circuit court for protection against stalking by Gerald Patrick McGuire, 55, of Clearwater, who goes by Jerry McGuire on Twitter under the handle @costaricancreat.
Clearwater police arrested McGuire on Feb. 23 on a felony charge of making written threats to do kill or do bodily harm for a tweet posted Feb. 18 that invokes "2nd amendment rights" and says "shoot David jolly shoot him."
The petition filed by Jolly's attorney March 2 provides more details about threats that it attributes to McGuire. Beginning Oct. 1, the petition says, "a series of harassing statements directed at Jolly" were posted, numbering about 50 and appearing on both Twitter and Facebook.
Among the threats cited in the petition are "hope they hang you," "kick in the mouth," and "traitor treason tyranny lobbyist trailer trash."
They culminated, according to the petition, in the "most horrific of his posts" on the afternoon of Feb. 18, linking Jolly to Scientology and urging that he be shot.
The petition includes a link to a nine-minute video showing McGuire walking through downtown Clearwater and narrating allegations of "salacious criminal activity" by Jolly and others, the petition says.
The video was posted on YouTube and repeatedly linked to via Twitter from Jan. 26 through Feb. 22, the petition says.
Jolly also says in the petition that he believes McGuire "owns or controls guns or other weapons." He was ordered to surrender them to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office upon his arrest.
The petition also seeks protection against McGuire on behalf of Jolly's wife and parents.
An arrest affidavit said that at the time of his arrest, McGuire showed no sign of "mental health issues" or drug or alcohol use. He was jailed in lieu of $10,000 bond.
A judge issued an order of no contact in the case March 9 as a condition of McGuire's release on bail. The order sets special conditions that require McGuire to wear a GPS monitor and stay 1,000 feet away from places Jolly goes, including his work place, residence, place of worship, and "and any place where victim makes a public appearance."
The order also says, "No social media allowed."
Jolly, a Pinellas County Republican, has become an outspoken figure critical of President Donald Trump and makes regular appearances on national cable news programs, drawing both praise and heat on social media.