[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 08/08/20]
CLERMONT, Florida — A Winter Garden man referred to as “the ninja guy” is facing a half dozen charges after being accused of threatening to set a Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy on fire, throwing a gas can at him and biting his ankle.
Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, LCSO responded to the area of Ridgecrest Loop in Clermont on a report of a black male wearing a green construction vest, “who was getting into cars” and “hiding between the houses.” The complainant said they believed the man was on drugs and requested deputies speak with “the ninja guy,” according to an arrest affidavit.
A second deputy arrived a few minutes later and made contact with Sam Frederick Harden, 53, who fled on foot, ran toward a residence on Ridgecrest Loop and went into the garage. The deputy heard Harden yelling and a female screaming and the deputy went into the garage in fear Harden would hurt the female; he tried to speak with Harden and Harden began throwing things at him, including a bicycle wheel and tools, according to the affidavit.
The deputy continued to give Harden commands as he threw more items at the deputy. Harden then threatened to kill the deputy and set him on fire, and he grabbed a gas can and threw it at the deputy, the affidavit states. The deputy deployed his Taser and began struggling with Harden on the garage floor, Harden bit the deputy’s ankle and refused to let go, according to the affidavit, other deputies arrived and were able to secure Harden.
This is Harden’s second arrest in two weeks; on July 21, he was charged with two counts of criminal mischief and petit theft. He was released on July 30 on $3,000 bond.
In his latest case, Harden is charged with resisting arrest without violence, resisting arrest with violence, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, attempted arson of an occupied dwelling and burglary of an occupied dwelling. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $46,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]