Convicted Killer Holding Hostages Arrested, Allegedly Struck Officers With Hatchet: Sheriff

A convicted killer who was holding three people hostage was recently arrested after allegedly attacking law enforcement officers with a hatchet, according to a Florida sheriff's office.

The incident occurred this past Sunday, at about 7:30 p.m. local time, after deputies from the Hardee County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call regarding a possible "armed hostage situation."

The deputies responded to a residence in Wauchula Hills and were assisted by officers from the Wauchula Police Department and the Bowling Green Police Department. When the officers arrived at the residence of Mitchell Albritton, 61, he told them he was armed and refused to open the door, according to a press release from the sheriff's office. Officers then tried to force the door open.

"Albritton, armed with a hatchet, used the weapon to strike two deputies before being restrained," the sheriff's office said. "Both deputies were transported to the hospital where they were treated and released."

Deputies were eventually able to restrain Albritton and place him in custody.

The sheriff's office said that after Albritton was placed into custody, a search revealed three people, who were "covered in blood," inside the home. One of them told police that they didn't try to flee the home because they were scared of Albritton, who would threaten them with the hatchet whenever they tried to move. The three were transported to medical facilities after their rescue.

In the press release, the sheriff's office referred to Albritton as a "chronic offender."

Albritton has been incarcerated numerous times since 1977 and was most recently released from prison on August 13, according to Florida Department of Corrections records. He was subsequently on "active conditional release supervision," the Hardee County Sheriff's Office said.

In 1997, Albritton was convicted of murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison, records show.

"The same records also show an incarceration history for False Imprisonment, Shooting into a Dwelling, Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition," the sheriff's office said in the release.

Following his most recent arrest, Albritton was charged with attempted second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer; aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer; resisting an officer with violence; attempted second-degree murder; domestic violence/aggravated battery; battery on a law enforcement officer; false imprisonment; and resisting an officer without violence.

Newsweek reached out to the sheriff's office for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Police Line
A convicted killer in Florida who was holding three hostages was recently arrested after allegedly attacking officers with a hatchet, according to a sheriff's office. Above, police tape hangs across the street in front of a house in Park City, Kansas, on February 26, 2005. Larry W. Smith/Getty