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Lake County Inmate Charged After Sending Threatening Letter to Bail Bond Employee

LEESBURG — A Leesburg man was charged with sending a threatening letter to an employee at Thumper Bail Bonds in Tavares according to an arrest report.

Lake County Deputies served 22-year-old Austin Russell with a warrant charging him with writing threats to kill or do bodily harm to a person.

According to the warrant, Russell was an inmate at the Lake County Jail in March 2017 when he mailed a handwritten letter to an employee at the bondsman’s office who had attempted to bring Russell in on two prior occasions after his bond was revoked on unrelated charges.

Both times, Russell managed to escape from the employee after beating her with handcuffs that were partially cuffed to him, leaving the employee with serious injuries.

Russell was arrested in January for the battery charges against the employee as well as the revoked bond.

The letter reportedly sent to the employee was mailed to the bondsman’s office and addressed to the employee. In the letter, Russell wrote. “I hope you have dreams about me beating you in the head with my handcuffs, you nasty [expletive]. I want you to know I’ll be out soon and (nobody) will stop me. Smile for me, (because) I’m smiling for you.”

Russell signed the bottom of the letter with his name and a “heart-shaped” drawing. He also left his return address on the envelope the letter was mailed in.

According to the victim, the letter was mailed sometime between March 9 and March 11, 2017.

Russell was released from the Lake County Jail on March 15 at which time he was handed over to the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections.

Russell was then transported to the Sumter Correctional Institution where he was scheduled to serve up to ninety months in prison on unrelated charges.

Russell was taken back into the custody of Lake County deputies on Monday, January 29 and transported to the Lake County Jail.

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