Federal prosecutors arrested a suburban New York man who threatened to attack this year’s New York City Pride March, who said, ” I will attack with firepower that would make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk.”
Officials from the FBI and New York Joint Terrorism Task Force announced that Robert Fehring, 74 of Bayport, New York, was charged with allegedly sending at least 60 letters threatening to assault, shoot and bomb LGBTQ-affiliated individuals, organizations and businesses, including New York City’s annual pride festival.
“Fehring’s alleged threats to members of the LGBTQ+ community were not only appalling, but dangerous, despite the fact he hadn’t yet acted on his purported intentions,” Michael J. Driscoll, the assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said in a statement.
In many of the letters, he describes LGBTQ individuals as worse than the “bottom of the pig-pen” or states that “even animals know better” than to engage in same-sex activity, according to the complaint.
He was arrested on Monday morning and was released later that day on a $100,000 bond, according to officials. He was placed on home detention with location monitoring, and he is not permitted to have firearms or other destructive devices. He is also not permitted to have contact with any victims and may not go to certain locations he threatened.
After executing a search warrant at his home last month, law enforcement agents found photographs from a 2021 Pride event in Long Island Pride event in East Meadows, New York, that showed two loaded shotguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two stun guns and an addressed and stamped letter to an LGBTQ-affiliated attorney containing the remains of a dead bird, prosecutors 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.