Long Island Man Pleads Guilty To Threatening To Bomb LGBTQ Events, Harm People
Robert Fehring, a 74-year-old Long Island man and retired high school teacher, plead guilty to threatening to bomb and shoot LGBTQ events and people. He is currently out on a $100,000 bond and is facing up to five years in prison.
Since 2013, Fehring admitted to repeatedly sending letters – investigators have identified at least 60 letters – to various LGBTQ+ organizations and people with threats to harm them and place bombs at LGBTQ+ events. One of his letters threatened the 2021 New York City Pride Parade where there would be “radio-controlled devices placed at numerous strategic places.” He claimed the violence he had planned would “make the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk.”
“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.
On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 LGBTQ+ people and wounded 53 others in Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) searched his home in November and found two two stun guns, two loaded shotguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a machete with an American flag pattern and a DVD with the title of “Underground Build Your Own Silencer System.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said the “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.”
According to the United States Attorney’s Office, investigators found the corpse of a bird inside a stamped envelope addressed to a lawyer who worked on LGBTQ+ related cases.
Another letter threatened the organizer of a June 2021 Pride event in East Meadow, New York, which stated: “[W]e were right there you…FREAK!!! 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. . .. They are out to KILL you….and your boyfriend. You are being watched. No matter how long it takes, you will be taken out…. high-powered bullet…. bomb….knife…. whatever it takes.”
The case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section, Long Island Criminal Division and Civil Rights Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Francisco J. Navarro, Rachel A. Shanies, and Andrew P. Wenzel are in charge of the prosecution.
“Mr. Fehring is relieved to have completed this phase of the process and will now prepare himself for the final stage,” his attorney, Glenn Obedin, told Newsday.
Fehring will be sentenced on June 17.