Live

Watch CBSN Live

Popular Brooklyn restaurant threatened by "Pizzagate" hoax callers

NEW YORK -- A popular New York restaurant has become the latest victim of a fake-news conspiracy about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizza joint.

Police confirm Roberta’s has received telephone calls threatening its employees.

The Brooklyn restaurant is known for its wood-fired pizza. A call to the restaurant Wednesday night went unanswered.

The threatening calls came after social-media users connected the restaurant to the Pizzagate hoax centered on the Washington D.C. restaurant Comet Ping Pong. One caller referenced an email from Clinton’s private server and noted the Clintons attended a donor’s birthday party at Roberta’s years ago. 

"Pizzagate" suspect charged after allegedly firing shot in D.C. restaurant

Police say the hoax took a dangerous turn Sunday when Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, North Carolina, fired a rifle inside Comet Ping Pong while trying to “self-investigate” the conspiracy. Court records show the man says he found no evidence supporting the fake story. 

Police said he brought a rifle into the popular Comet Ping Pong pizzeria. The bizarre rumors about the pizza joint began with a leaked email referencing Clinton and pizza parties. It morphed into fake online news stories about a child sex trafficking ring operating out of the restaurant. 

According to the documents, Welch told officers that he had “read online that the Comet restaurant was harboring child sex slaves and that he wanted to see for himself if they were there. He stated that he was armed to help rescue them. He surrendered peacefully when he found no evidence that underage children were being harbored in the restaurant.”

He was armed with an AR-15 style weapon and told officers he also had a .38 caliber handgun.