Story at a glance
- A New York man on Monday was arrested and charged for threatening to attack the LGBTQ+ community. He had promised to do more damage than the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting, which killed 49 and wounded dozens.
- The man, Robert Fehring, had been sending threatening letters since 2013, federal prosecutors said.
- A search warrant was executed on Fehring’s home in November, yielding photographs of a New York Pride event, weapons, ammunition and an envelope addressed to a LGBTQ+ affiliated attorney containing the remains of a dead bird.
A 74-year-old New York man was arrested and charged Monday for threatening to attack the New York City Pride March in June with “firepower” that would “make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk.”
Robert Fehring of Long Island had reportedly been sending letters to LGBTQ+ organizations, businesses and community members since 2013, threatening to assault, shoot and bomb them, according to an unsealed criminal complaint.
In one letter, he threatened this year’s New York City Pride March, held in June, writing that there would "be radio-cont[r]olled devices placed at numerous strategic places,” which would do more damage than the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were killed and dozens more wounded at a gay bar in Orlando, Fla.
Fehring also allegedly sent a letter to the organizer of a June Pride event in East Meadow, N.Y.
“[W]e were right there you…FREAK!!! They couldn’t get a shot off at you, slithering around the back stage area like a snake. Too many cops. Very disappointed. But your time has come. . .. They are out to KILL you….and your boyfriend. You are being watched. No matter how long it takes, you will be taken out…. high-powered bullet…. bomb….knife…. whatever it takes,” the letter said.
“As alleged, the defendant's hate-filled invective and threats of violence directed at members of the LGBTQ+ community have no place in our society and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, said in a statement.
Members of the FBI’s Civil Rights Squad and the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force executed a search warrant on Fehring’s home on Nov. 18, according to a Department of Justice news release. Photographs from a recent Pride event in East Meadow were recovered, along with two loaded shotguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two stun guns and a stamped envelope addressed to an LGBTQ+ affiliated attorney containing the remains of a dead bird.
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