NYC Pride 2021 occurred months ago, but we are just now finding out the details of a suspected domestic terrorist attack that had been planned for the typically joyful day celebrating LGBTQ acceptance and identity.
Aaron Katersky of ABC News reported that in a federal courtroom on Monday, Dec. 6, prosecutors revealed Robert Fehring of Bayport, New York, had “threatened to attack the 2021 New York City Pride March with ‘firepower’ that would ‘make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk.”
According to Katersky, Fehring had “allegedly sent at least 60 letters threatening to assault, shoot and bomb LGBTQ-affiliated individuals, organizations and businesses. He was arrested Monday morning.”
When police searched Fehring’s home, they reportedly found surveillance photos from a 2021 Pride event in East Meadow, New York, a pair of loaded shotguns, hundreds of rounds of ammo and two stun guns. On a bizarre side note, they also found “a stamped envelope addressed to an LGBTQ-affiliated attorney containing the remains of a dead bird.”
In a statement to the media, United States Attorney Breon Peace said, “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.”
Law enforcement has been aware of Fehring for quite some time, and he is believed to have started sending threatening letters against members of the LGBTQ community as early as 2013. However, officials said his letters have grown more violent in recent years and started to include frequent references to the use of firearms and explosives.
“Along with the letter threatening the New York City Pride March — in which he wrote there would ‘be radio-cont[r]olled devices placed at numerous strategic places’ — the criminal complaint also quoted from a letter Fehring allegedly sent to the organizer of the Pride event in East Meadow,” Katersky said.
“[W]e were right there you… FREAK!!!,” Fehring wrote in that letter. “They couldn’t get a shot off at you, slithering around the backstage 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.”
Following his arrest, Fehring was brought before a judge Monday afternoon. Officials said more details of the case would be made available as it progresses through the court system.