Breckinridge County Sheriff arrested on terroristic threatening and DUI charges

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police said the Breckenridge County Sheriff was homicidal, suicidal and armed with a gun -- and that's how he ended up behind bars.

Sheriff Todd Pate's wife Kristi took out a warrant Monday, stating that her husband called threatening to kill her and her parents, and then take his own life. Kentucky State Police thought the threat was serious enough to search for the sheriff.

Troopers eventually found him 90 minutes away in Bowling Green in a Waffle House parking lot, and court records said he was intoxicated.

Pate is charged with DUI, reckless driving and terroristic threatening. We're told his gun was in the console, along with an open beer.

"Kind of hard to believe," said one Breckinridge County resident. "I had him in school. He was fine young man. I had worked with him on several different things. Kind of surprising."

The Sheriff's arrest is the talk of a small town. Residents say it's shocking, since Pate is held in such high regard. He gained national attention for saving a 6-year-old boy who was bound, tortured and starved by his parents. 

"Everything I saw initially was just as she told me," Pate said on the Oprah Winfrey Show. "He was a very tired, sick-looking little boy. A little boy that looked beat down."

"I felt that  couldn't let it go," he continued.

Officials in Breckinridge County are being very quiet about the Sheriff's arrest. We're told the County Attorney is on Fall Break, court has been canceled for a week and he can't be bothered. We also went to the Sheriff's office where the chief deputy is now in charge, but he won't comment either. 

The sheriff who saved a young child from his parents is now enduring family turmoil of his own.

Pate was first elected Sheriff in 2003. 

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