Philema Road blocked because of terroristic threats

LEESBURG — A war veteran and displaced National Guard recruiter was responsible for Lee County deputies closing parts of Philema Road in Lee County Wednesday evening after he allegedly threatened a recruiter in Leesburg.

Lewis Harris with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Jason Scott Malone of Thomasville had learned that after 16 years in the military, many of those as a National Guard recruiter, he was being removed from service for lack of production. Harris said Malone was concerned about losing his benefits before his normal retirement time, Harris said.

“He was in a desperate situation,” Harris said. “He was fighting to save his home and about to lose everything he had.”

Harris said Malone had a verbal altercation with an unnamed National Guard recruiter living in Lee county, during which Malone threatened the recruiter and said he was “ready to kill somebody” and ready to “blow up a building.”

Deputies of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were able to listen in on the conversation and had information on where Malone apparently was traveling to encounter someone. As a precaution, Philema Road was blocked off and traffic redirected through River Pointe subdivision for nearly two hours, Harris said. Eventually Malone surrendered and was taken without incident.

According to Harris, assistance in the case came from the Dougherty County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office and well as the Albany Marine Base, which provided a bomb-sniffing K-9. No weapons were found on Malone or in his vehicle, Harris said, but Malone has been charged with terrorist threats and acts.