'Sovereign Citizen' Eric Holtgard arrested twice in 24 hours for threatening people with guns

11:39 PM, Nov 21, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Tampa man with arsenal arrested twice in 24 hours


Tampa, Florida -- A man who identifies himself as a "sovereign citizen" is in jail for the second time in less than a day, facing aggravated assault charges. 

Hillsborough deputies say that just before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 27-year-old Eric Holtgard drove up to the Rivard Buick-GMC on East Adamo Drive in Tampa, where he got out of his vehicle and began yelling at the employees and patrons who were in the parking lot.

Holtgard then allegedly pulled a Glock .45 caliber gun from his waistband, pointed it at a witness and threatened to kill him several times. 

"A customer who was on our lot for service came up running, saying a guy waved a gun at him and asked the question, 'Do you want to die today? Is this your day to die?'" witness Frank Hernandez told 10 News.

Before things got any more out of hand, Holtgard spotted deputies pulling into the parking lot, and he fled the scene. 

Later, patrol deputies conducted a traffic stop on Holtgard in Brandon. Holtgard was positively identified by the witnesses who were in the car dealership parking lot earlier, and he was arrested without incident.

During a search of Holtgard's car, deputies located several loaded firearms, including an assault rifle, two handguns, ballistic plates, ballistic ammunition, and paperwork advising he was exempt from government statutory law.

Holtgard identifies himself as a sovereign citizen, which is an ideology where a person believes American-born citizens answer only to independent authority, and not the government. Common law is typically used to justify why sovereign citizens believe they are exempt from certain rules and regulations.

See Also: Sovereign citizen pays fines with 70,000 pennies

After his arrest, Holtgard gave deputies consent to search his apartment, where they found a tactical shotgun, a Glock pistol and 32 magazines and ammo that were all impounded for safe keeping. Holtgard does have a valid Carrying Concealed Weapons permit.

He bonded out of jail around 2 a.m. Thursday and went to his mother's house in Valrico.

Shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, a landscaper called police and said a man wearing only boxer shorts and carrying a rifle came out of the mother's home on Buckingham Loop Drive and began screaming at him, saying he was not allowed to park on the curb in front of his house.

When deputies arrived, the screaming man was identified as Eric Holtgard. Detectives arrested Holtgard again and seized even more firearms from his mom's house, including several assault rifles.

Holtgard was arrested for a second time, and is now being held without bond.

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