Long Island man who sent threatening anti-LGBTQ letters also stole Pride flags: police

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LGBTQ flags outside Stonewall during NYC Pride weekend

LGBTQ flags on display near the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village ahead of Pride weekend. (PIX11 News)

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A Long Island man accused of sending violent, threatening letters to LGBTQ groups, including NYC Pride March organizers, faced new charges on Tuesday related to the theft of nearly two dozen Pride flags, officials said.

Robert Fehring, of Bayport, was arrested by Suffolk County police on charges of criminal mischief and grand larceny as a hate crime in connection with 20 rainbow flags that were found in his house while authorities conducted a search warrant related to a separate criminal case in federal court.

The search also turned up 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, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Fehring, 74, is accused of sending the threatening, hate-filled letters as far back as 2013 and as recently as June. 

In a letter earlier this year, Fehring allegedly threatened to shoot up the New York City Pride March with “firepower” that would “make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk,” per the complaint.

In another letter to the organizer of a June Pride event in East Meadow, prosecutors said Fehring threatened to kill the man and his boyfriend.

“[W]e were right there you … FREAK!!! 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,” the letter read, according to the complaint.

Robert Fehring, right, with his attorney Glenn Obedin, left. (Credit: PIX11)

Fehring’s attorney, Glenn Obedin, said his client asks for the legal process to be allowed to proceed.

“This charge will go nowhere. There was no point to bringing this one individual charge in district court today other than to embarrass an old man who is in poor health,” Obedin said of the new charges outside of the courthouse on Tuesday.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael Driscoll said anyone who believes they may have received a letter from Fehring to reach out to the agency by calling 1-800-CALLFBI.

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