Man who sent threats to LGBTQ groups sentenced to 30 months


NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 25: People walk by the Stonewall Inn, an iconic bar for the LGBTQ community around the world, on June 25, 2020 in New York City. Along with thousands of other restaurants and bars in New York, the Stonewall Inn was forced to close in mid-March as New York City began its long struggle against coronavirus. The bar, which was almost forced to close for good due to the prolonged lockdown, has started a GoFundMe page and has so far exceeded its initial goal of $50,000. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — A retired schoolteacher from Long Island was sentenced to 30 months in prison Wednesday for mailing violent threats to LGBTQ-affiliated individuals, groups and businesses over several years.

According to prosecutors, 74-year-old Robert Fehring threatened to blow up the Stonewall Inn, a historic bar in Manhattan considered the birthplace of the gay rights movement. He also threatened to place explosives at the 2021 New York City Pride march.

Other messages threatened to kill, shoot and bomb LGBTQ-affiliated businesses and individuals, including an African American-owned barbershop in Brooklyn that Fehring wrote in one letter “is the perfect place for a bombing.”

Fehring pleaded guilty in February to mailing threatening communications through the postal service.

An FBI search of Fehring’s home last November in Bayport, Long Island, yielded two loaded shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in addition to copies of letters containing threats. Investigators also found a stamped envelope addressed to an LGBTQ-affiliated attorney containing the remains of a dead bird, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.

According to BuzzFeed, authorities also found photos Fehring had taken at pride parades in New York City which they described as “reconnaissance.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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