US man arrested after years of threats to LGBTIQA+ organisations

Police and FBI in the USA have arrested a 74-year-old man alleging he is responsible for years of bomb threats and death threats sent to LGBTIQ organisations.

Robert Fehring, from Long Island, is accused of sending at least 60 threatening letters to organisers of Pride events and other groups of an eight year period.

On November 18th police conducted a search of the man’s home in Bayport, New York where they found over one hundred rounds of ammunition, two loaded shotguns, two stun guns and a stamped envelop addressed to an LGBTIQA+ affiliated attorney, inside were the remains of a dead bird.

“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.”

Fehring is in poor health but prosecutors say that hasn’t stopped the retired school music teacher from rolling out a wave of terror for close to a decade. He has also been charged with stealing Pride flags from events.

In one of his letters to New York Pride Fehring allegedly wrote that he’d attack the city’s Pride celebrations in a way that would make the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida, ““look like a cakewalk.”

David Kilmnick, the president of the New York LGBT Network, which operates four community centers on Long Island and in Queens and runs the annual Long Island Pride event, said he had mixed feelings about Fehring’s arrest. Most of the letters and threats were directed towards his organisations.

Kilmnick said it while it was good someone had finally been charged over the threats, it was astounding that it had taken police so long to engage the FBI and track down the alleged offender.

OIP Staff, stock image.

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