Wanted fugitives in Polk County should avoid Hurricane Irma shelters in the coming days if they hope to stay out of jail, Sheriff Grady Judd said Wednesday. "It's important to understand that if you're a sexual predator and a sexual offender, we're not going to let you sleep next to any five-year-old babies", he continued.
He explained in a series of tweets that law enforcement officers at all county shelters would be checking IDs. If their name shows up as a registered sex offender, they will not be allowed inside the shelter.
- David Roth (@david_j_roth) September 6, 2017So basically this guy is encouraging anyone with a warrant, which are issued for things such as outstanding parking tickets, to risk death? Being landlocked is no protection against hurricanes, the sheriff's office noted, tweeting the hashtag: #goawayIrma.
Complaints about the bold vow seem to be coming mostly outside Polk County, given Judd is an incredibly popular sheriff.
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"I was just trying to keep people informed ahead of time", Horstman told The Tampa Bay Times. Polk County has an estimated population of more than 660,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If this was about sexual predators, you'd be out hunting for them every single day if they had outstanding warrants.
Twitter users were outraged by the statements as the potentially life-threatening storm approaches southeast Florida.
Horstman said Judd's use of Twitter is appropriate in communicating a policy that's the same for people fleeing Irma this weekend as it was for people fleeing Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne in 2004.
The Sentinel quoted State Rep. Carlos Smith saying checking IDs of storm evacuees unfairly impacts undocumented immigrants. As does whether or not there'll be a Polk County left when Irma is done with it. "We need to know who is in there".