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Long Island Man, 74, Arrested for Threats to Bomb, Shoot NYC Pride

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday December 7, 2021

A 74-year-old Long Island man was arrested after allegedly sending threats to bomb and shoot LGBTQ+ events, organizations, and people, including last summer's NYC Pride March, BuzzFeed reported.

Bayport resident Robert Fehring was arrested Dec. 6, the article said, on suspicion of mailing "a series of letters to LGBTQ organizations, businesses, and individuals between May and September this year, threatening to shoot and bomb them, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court."

The site published a sample drawn from a letter addressed to a Pride event organizer in East Meadon, NY, that claimed the author of the missive had had the intended victim in his gun sights:

"They couldn't get a shot off at you, slithering around the back stage area like a snake. Too many cops," the letter excerpt read. "Very disappointed. But your time has come."

"According to the complaint, Fehring marked the letter's envelope with a 'confidential stamp,' which he later explained to investigators after waiving his Miranda Rights was something he often did to ensure the letters were taken seriously by the recipients," BuzzFeed detailed.

A similarly threatening letter was sent to an organizer of last summer's Pride March in New York City, reported the New York Daily News.

"As you fucking scum are preparing to waltz your fruity, freaky faggot asses down the NY parade lanes, we warn you that there will be radio-controlled devices placed at numerous strategic places, and firepower aimed at you from other strategic places," the letter, which was sent in May of this year, read.

"We've had enough!!! This will make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk," the letter added, referencing the largest mass shooting to target LGBTQ+ people in history.

These letters are only some of the latest in a years-long campaign of terror. A Department of Justice Press release noted that "since at least 2013, Fehring has been sending individuals associated with the LGBTQ+ community letters in which he threatened violence, including threatening the use of firearms and explosives."

It seemed to be the case that Fehring may have been preparing to do more than issue threats. A search of Fehring's home yielded "photographs of a June 2021 Pride event in East Meadow, L.I., two loaded shotguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two stun guns, an American flag-patterned machete and a stamped envelope addressed to an attorney involved in LGBTQ causes containing the remains of a dead bird," the Daily Mail detailed.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, stated in the Justice Department release that "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.

"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," Peace added.

His arrest for the threatening letters is not the only trouble Fehring faces, the Daily News said.

"On top of the new criminal allegations, Fehring was accused by a former student at Bellport High School of sexually abusing an underage high school student in the 1970s, according to a lawsuit filed in Suffolk County Supreme Court."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.