CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — A Long Island man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for mailing dozens of violent threats to LGBTQ affiliated individuals, groups and businesses over several years.
Robert Fehring, 74, of Bayport, pleaded guilty in February. Many of the letters he sent from 2013 to 2021 contained threats to kill, shoot and bomb the recipients.
Two of the letters threatened an attack on an LGBTQ+ event in Huntington that would be like the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Another letter stated that explosives would be planted at a beach club in Long Beach that had hosted a LGBTQ+ event, authorities said.
Fehring also threatened to blow up the Stonewall Inn, a historic Manhattan bar considered the birthplace of the gay rights movement, prosecutors said. The letter to the Stonewall Inn stated, “we will blow up/burn your establishments down. We will shoot those who frequent your dens of [expletives].”
Fehring also threatened to place explosives at 2021 New York City Pride march, prosecutors said.
A search of Fehring’s home last November yielded two shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in addition to copies of letters containing threats. Law enforcement officers also found 20+ LGBTQ+ Pride flags that were stolen off flagpoles in Sayville on Long Island. There were also “reconnaissance-style” photographs from the Eisenhower Park Pride event. Officers also found a stamped envelope addressed to an LGBTQ+ affiliated attorney that contained the remains of a dead bird, authorities said.
At Fehring’s sentencing hearing Wednesday, six of his victims addressed the court and described the fear they felt after receiving his threats.
“Robert Fehring made heinous threats against members of the LGBTQ+ community in locations throughout New York, including Suffolk County, for nearly eight years,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said in a statement. “This sentence reiterates that hate and intolerance have no place in Suffolk County.”