PALM HARBOR — Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 34-year-old Palm Harbor man July 31 on one charge of a false report of a bomb or weapon of mass destruction, or concerning the use of firearms in a violent manner.
Deputies responded to the Pet Supermarket, 32560 U.S. 19 N. in Palm Harbor, about 6:11 p.m. due to a harassing phone call.
When deputies arrived at the business, the store manager told them that the business was closed as a safety precaution due to verbal threats they received from a customer.
Witnesses told deputies that at about 5:15 p.m., a known customer, identified as Jonathan Blaine, entered the store and tried purchasing pet food using a mobile online payment app. When employees told Blaine that they no longer accepted that type of payment, he became verbally argumentative and irate.
Witnesses said Blaine's behavior escalated to the point that employees asked nearby customers to move to the back of the store as a safety precaution.
Deputies say Blaine eventually left the store after causing a disturbance.
At about 5:45 p.m., the store manager received a phone call from the Pet Supermarket corporate office informing her that Blaine called customer service and made threats to stab or shoot someone at the business.
Deputies say Blaine reportedly told customer service employees over the phone that he would stab or shoot someone if he came back to the store. Blaine also told employees that if it weren’t for his girlfriend someone would have been shot.
Deputies located Blaine at his Palm Harbor residence where he reportedly admitted to the allegations.
Deputies say Blaine denied owning any weapons; however, deputies took a handgun that was in the home for safekeeping. The handgun belonged to Blaine's live-in girlfriend.
Blaine was arrested and transported to the Pinellas County Jail and booked about 10:25 p.m. Bail was set at $10,000. He was released on surety bond at 3:02 a.m.
Due to the nature of the threats, deputies say they filed for a Risk Protection Order against Blaine.
In addition, detectives assisted the U.S. Secret Service with an unrelated investigation on May 21, after Blaine called the U.S. Department of State and referenced the President before making verbal threats towards congress. Detectives say Blaine was upset with the length of time it was taking to resolve issues with his passport. Blaine told detectives he was joking and claimed he had no intentions of following through with it.