A 74-year-old man in Long Island was charged Monday for allegedly mailing threats to "assault, shoot, and bomb" members of the LGBTQ+ community and affiliated organizations, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York. Robert Fehring is accused of sending at least 60 threatening letters to organizers of Pride events and other groups over an eight-year period.
In one May 20 letter cited in the charging documents, Fehring allegedly warned that if the 2021 New York City Pride March was held as planned, "there will be radio-cont[r]olled devices placed at numerous strategic places, and firepower aimed at you from other strategic places."
"This will make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk," he allegedly added.
In a June 9 letter, he warned an LGBTQ+ organizer that they "better be ready to meet your end" if they attended an event in East Meadow, New York, adding that it's "a great place to unload a high-powered rifle bullet from a distance," the court documents allege.
In a letter to the same person on June 25, he allegedly said he was "disappointed" he wasn't able to kill him.
"[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," he wrote, according to the documents. "Very disappointed. But your time has come. . .. They are out to KILL you….and your boyfriend. You are being watched."
On November 18, police conducted a search warrant at Fehring's home in Bayport, New York, where they recovered over one hundred rounds of ammunition, two loaded shotguns, two stun guns, and a "stamped envelope addressed to an LGBTQ+ affiliated attorney" with the remains of a dead bird, the documents 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," United States Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. "This Office is firmly committed to protecting the civil rights of all members of every community in this district, including the LGBTQ+ community and other minority communities."
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