Longtime area realtor arrested for email and social media comments about Gainesville City Commission


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Terry L. Martin-Back, 68, a longtime area realtor and property manager, was arrested today on a warrant issued following a complaint that he made threats against the Gainesville City Commission.

According to the sworn complaint, Martin-Back sent an email to the city commission on September 9 that said, “My hope after the election, when you are seen in public by the residence [sic] of Gainesville… they pull you out of whatever establishment you attend… and they beat your ass over your in-favor vote for inclusionary zoning. I hope I’m first in line and my combat emotional stress kicks in and I can take all out on your face!! I’m [s]ick of you POS!”

Martin-Back then reportedly made a Facebook post that said, “I’m about to lose control of my PTSD with the City of Gainesville elected Commissioners. When I see them in public, I don’t think I will be able to control my actions… You have a choice… stop me or join in.”

Martin-Back also reportedly replied to a comment on that post, saying, “I just sent an email advising them that my PTSD may set in after the election and cause the public or me to pull them out of an establishment and beat their ass if they vote for inclusionary zoning…”

A Gainesville Police Department officer met with Martin-Back at his home, and when the officer said the visit was about an email he sent, Martin-Back reportedly asked, “Are you talking about the city commission zoning they’re trying to include?” When asked again about the email, he reportedly replied, “That I hope that when they get out of the office that somebody drags them out and kicks their butt.”

Martin-Back then reportedly explained to the officer why he was opposed to the exclusionary zoning ordinance and how it might affect his business. He reportedly added, “We have elected officials that do not even listen to the citizens of the City of Gainesville.” When the officer read the email to Martin-Back, he reportedly said, “No, I said I hope I’m the one that gets to do that… you know,” and then trailed off.

The officer asked whether the email was just a verbal attack, and Martin-Back reportedly replied, “Did I say I was going to physically do this immediately? Did I say I was going to do this today, did I say I was going to do this tomorrow? I said as soon as the election is over, I hope someone in this community comes out afterward, because I know if I go after someone right now it’s a felony. But once they’re a public citizen, I can get in their face, and I can go like that.” Martin-Back demonstrated pointing his finger in someone’s face.

When asked about the PTSD comment, Martin-Back reportedly said he was a combat veteran in the Army. He then reportedly said, “My focus is when they are un-elected, someone gets in their face.” The officer again tried to clarify, asking, “You’re not planning on going out and dragging anyone out of a building and attacking them?” and Martin-Back reportedly said, “Not tonight, I’m not.”

The sworn complaint was dated September 10, and the warrant was issued today. Martin-Back has been charged with making a written threat to kill or injure and is being held on $75,000 bail.

Martin-Back has long been a critic of the city commission, writing this column, among others, about their policies. He has written letters to the editor about Gainesville’s Renters’ Rights Ordinance and other topics. He also spoke against Alachua County’s proposed rental unit permit and inspection program in June.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • He should have said he’s fighting nazis and fascism. Those are the magic words that make just about any behavior acceptable to the insane left. The building obviously has plenty of security and zero chance of commissioners getting dragged out by anyone. So I’m not sure it’s really a threat if he doesn’t have the means to do it. It’s about like Madonna saying she thinks an awful lot about blowing up the White House – not an actual threat unless she has her own tactical nuke or something.

    • And then there was that comedienne Kathy Griffin who said that stuff about Trump…nothing happened to her.

    • the Nazi Fascist Dem commies on the GNV CC are in fear for their lives and interpret this as the equivalent to Trumps’ insurrection
      On the capital.

      • It wasn’t an insurrection, no weapons, no guns, didn’t burn down cities, didn’t hurt anyone. Only person shot was a Trump supporter.

  • I’m surprised they didn’t send in the SWAT team🙄
    Isn’t that their MO for dealing with pesky realtors? 🤔

    • Can they send the SWAT team on those pesky panhandlers in the street medians and on the sides of the roads?

  • Well. There goes free speech in Gainesville, Florida. I do not condone violence of any nature against anyone. But I personally believe this city commission has done more to physically harm many of the residents here. Where is that investigation and accountability?

    • They’re all nuts on that city commission…they think that face mask is a magical shield to protect them from some invisible enemy. Now they wear the face mask to show fascist commie solidarity. —They put their earplugs in when it’s citizens comments time…

  • If King poe and the city commission members are in fear of injury maybe they should examine their actions. Then they might know why many citizens do not like them. Vote them out of office.

  • The City Commission ought to be ashamed of themselves, for this and many other things including the “inclusionary housing” vote. I trust this “inclusionary housing” will be happening in their neighborhoods as well as everyone else’s.

  • Another entitled boomer landlord with too much time on his hands. “Oh no my job of collecting people’s money is going to get a little harder, wahhhh”. Cant wait till all you old pepole just perish from earth, you ruined it for the next generation

    • Sounds like a real threat to me Joe. GPD needs to pay you a visit. I am very concerned about my personal safety over your death threat in print.

    • Boomers didn’t ruin this country for future generations. Most things that did, were never put up for a vote. Gay marriage, civil rights, immigration, tranny garbage, destruction of our way of life etc. You should be worried when the boomers pass away, then no one will be standing in the way for people like us to take power. Which will happen and won’t be very fun for people like you. You are just part of an extremely vocal minority, most people will be more than happy for us to rid this country of the parasites. Because what other option will they have left?

  • King Poe and his minions continue to silence the voices who speak out against them.

    Hope you liberals are still feeling the love. You’re so gullible.

  • Charging this guy with a felony is pretty extreme, considering that the U.S. Constitution allows all of us free speech. As Molly Ivins pointed out, that means people are allowed to say all kinds of things that you don’t like.

    • The commissioners are acting like tyrants instead of representing the wishes of the people they supposedly represent. A number of people certainly are very upset. Ninety percent of us don’t give a hoot about imaginary people who might “neeeeed” to move here from Miami in 20 years because of the climate change boogie man. The progressive commissioners should all open a Church of Wokeness, Climate Change and Transgenderism once their terms are over. In the meantime, stop preaching your weird religion to us. People trying to foist their weird religions on others has resulted in persecution throughout history. “We’re not interested in the Church of Wokeness, sorry.” That should be enough, but it’s not. How about that Freedom FROM Religion part of the Bill of Rights?

  • If he had been Maxine Waters, nobody would have said anything. If you are on the wrong political side, it pays to be careful in your speech.

  • White Privilege at its finest. Violent offenders and gang-bangers from the other side of town get off easier. Maybe he will get 5 years (convicted murderers only get 2!)

  • Martin Back. Forgiveness is easier than permission. At 68 (I am 72) with PTSD , you might wanna let the youngsters do the scrapping. Owners against renters always seems or is unfair. Haves vs have-nots, haves lose in this Biden and company environment. Good luck though. Mike Harden

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