Investigators are reviewing surveillance tapes after someone attacked a sex shop preparing to open in Waldo in what Alachua County officials are calling an act of domestic terrorism.
Detectives said that someone over the weekend set up a homemade device that spewed a chemical throughout the building being readied to open as Caf? Risqu?, an adult-entertainment store.
On Monday, investigators still had not identified the chemical, but said it was corrosive. A Gainesville Fire-Rescue Department’s hazardous materials team removed the device and tests will be conducted to determine what substance was pumped into the building.
“It comes under domestic terrorism, we’re going to look at it as such,” said Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Keith Faulk. “We’re going to prosecute to the fullest extent as it can.”
Officials said use of such a device is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
“Somebody had a real mastermind behind this,” Caf? Risqu? co-owner Jerry Sullivan said. “Somebody set out to hurt me, my brother-in-law and my business. And I don’t take lightly to someone hurting my family.”
Sullivan told Channel 4 that people around Waldo had tried everything from prayer to protest to keep him from opening the restaurant, but he said neither those tactics nor this most recent attack will keep him away. Construction on the building will continue as planned.
The store, which will sell adult magazines, videos and sex toys, is set to open in a couple of months.
“You don’t want to hear what I got to say; you couldn’t print it on TV,” Sullivan said. “I’m coming; this business is coming. It’s legal and coming. OK?”
My home town is not too far away from Waldo and I’ve traveled that area many times over the years. Next time I’m slowing down to pass thru I’ll keep my eyes open for something new.