A 74-year Long Island man who threatened to bomb the 2021 NYC Pride parade and carry out terror attacks on LGBTQI businesses has pleaded guilty. Robert Fehring, who is out of jail on an ankle monitor, faces up to five years imprisonment at his sentencing, which is scheduled for June 17. 

Trigger Warning: This story has details of homophobia and homophobic language, which might be distressing for some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Between 2003 and 2021, Fehring sent over 20 letters “threatening to assault, shoot, and bomb LGBTQ+ affiliated individuals, organizations and businesses.”

Advertisement
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, in the letters Fehring “threatened to use firearms and explosives against the recipients.”

‘Would Make Pulse Nightclub Shooting Look Like A Cakewalk’

In one of the letters, Fehring threatened to place “radio-cont[r]olled devices placed at numerous strategic places” at the 2021 New York City Pride March with “firepower” that would “make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk.” 

Fehring’s reference was to the 2016 terror attack at Orlando nightclub Pulse, that killed 49 persons and injured dozens of others. 

Advertisement
In another letter to a queer-owned barbershop Fehring said, “your shop is the perfect place for a bombing . . . or beating the scum that frequents your den of [expletive] into a bloody pool of steaming flesh.”

FBI Searches House, Finds Crucial Evidence

The FBI’s Civil Rights Squad and the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force on November 18, 2021, searched Fehring’s home in Bayport. According to court filings, they recovered copies of the threatening letters, stolen Pride flags and “reconnaissance-style photographs from a June 2021 Pride event in East Meadow”. 

“Law enforcement officers also recovered from Fehring’s residence 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,” the US Attorney’s office said in a statement. 

“This Office will use all of its available law enforcement tools to protect the safety and civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community and every other community. We will not tolerate hateful threats intended to invoke fear and division, and we will hold accountable those who make or act on such threats,” said Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.