A Florida firefighter has been arrested after using Snapchat to extort a 14-year-old girl.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office Computer Crimes detectives arrested 24-year-old Richard Dalton Battle of Palmetto, who is a Polk County Fire Rescue firefighter, for having inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old Polk County girl via the mobile app “Snapchat” and extorting her to send nude videos of herself to him.
The inappropriate contact began in 2019 after Battle found the victim on Instagram and then added her on Snapchat. The victim told Battle that she was only 14-years-old, to which Battle replied, “Okay.” The victim asked Battle how old he was, but he did not answer.
The conversations between Battle and the victim turned sexual in nature, and Battle began threatening to tell the victim’s mother that she was on Snapchat unless the victim sent him nude videos.
He told the victim that he knew her location because Snapmaps was turned on and the victim was in fear that he would come to her home, therefore the victim sent Battle two videos of herself nude.
Battle then continued to send her Snapchat messages, which the victim ignored. He repeatedly asked her to send more videos, which she ignored until late March 2022 when she decided she “couldn’t take it anymore.”
The victim searched for Battle’s true identity online and found a Facebook profile “Dalton Battle” where he is wearing a Polk County Fire Rescue T-shirt. The victim reported the online conversations to an adult, and an investigation ensued.
The victim told detectives that she felt pressured into sending the videos, and that it was disgusting and “the worst thing ever.”
The bitmoji Battle used on Snapchat is of a male wearing a firefighter uniform. His Snapchat username is “battle_dalton_.”
The following are excerpts of Snapchat conversations between Battle and the victim, recovered as evidence in this case:
- Battle – Where’s the spicy video you used to send ???
- Victim – Wtf
- Battle – Hey you’re hot what can I say
- Battle – Liked seeing you shake that a**
- Victim – No
- Battle – Haha damn had to try you used to send them now you don’t such a shame
- Victim – You’re a shame for thinking I’ll send them again
- Victim – Like seriously wtf is wrong with you
- Battle – Was trying to see some a** but okay
- Victim – leave a b**** alone
- Victim – especially after she says no
PCSO detectives interviewed Battle when he arrived to work at the Ewell Road fire station on April 7, 2022, and he told them that he had met the victim, whom he believed to be at least 18-year-old, on the dating app “Tinder.”
He denied the threats and denied soliciting her to send videos, but did admit she sent videos to him. He denied being on Snapchat at all.
Battle was placed under arrest and booked into the Polk County Jail for one count of solicitation of a person under 16 to commit a lewd act (F3), one count unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F3), and one count extortion (F2). He is being held on no bond for the solicitation charge, and $6,000 bond total for the other two charges. Please direct any inquiries about his employment to Polk County Fire Rescue.
“This is a clear-cut case of why parents need to be all up in their children’s business when they are online and using mobile apps. We are happy the victim turned this suspect in and we hope she is able to recover from the abuse she suffered at the hands of this deviant suspect. Please put parental controls on your children’s tablets and cell phones – parents and guardians are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping children safe,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.