A Bayport man was arrested this morning after allegedly sending several violent threats to members of the LGBTQ+ community, federal prosecutors announced today.
A criminal complaint accuses 74-year-old Robert Fehring of mailing letters — dating back to 2013 — detailing ways he could use firearms and explosives to terrorize popular events.
One letter he allegedly wrote referenced potentially using radio-controlled devices at the 2021 New York City Pride March that would “make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk.” The Orlando nightclub shooting is the second deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history with 49 people killed and dozens injured that night.
“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,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll.
The criminal complaint describes another alleged threat by Fehring, this one to the organizer of an East Meadow Pride event held in June. The letter reads “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.”
Back in 2019, the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce received a similar threat after plans for a Pride themed Alive After Five date was announced. The event organizers beefed up security for that day.
“It’s a relief a suspect has been apprehended who allegedly is responsible for sending myself and others associated with our Pride themed AA5 very threatening letters,” said David Kennedy, the executive director of the Patchogue chamber. “If these accusations are proven accurate, this person is obviously disturbed and needs to be held accountable for his actions.”
Last month, on Nov. 18, both the FBI’s Civil Rights Squad and the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force executed a search warrant at Fehring’s Bayport home. There, authorities say they found “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.”
This is still an ongoing investigation. If anyone has any information on this case or has received similar letters, the FBI is asking the public to call 1-800-CALLFBI or the local police.
Top: Scene from the 2019 Pride themed Alive After Five (credit: Benny Migliorino of Benny Migs Photo).