CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There have been new charges levied against a retired Long Island teacher accused of sending threats of bombings and mass shootings to LGBTQ organizations for years.
On Tuesday, Robert Fehring was also charged with grand larceny, accused of stealing rainbow flags at a community pride parade, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.READ MORE: Neighbors On Coney Island Rally Against Citywide Spike In Hate Crimes After Recent Attack On Gay Man
Fehring’s attorney said the 74-year-old is an old man in poor health, but prosecutors said the retired Bellport High School music teacher was well enough to send appalling and dangerous threats for years — at least 60 anti-gay letters threatening to assault, shoot and bomb.
“This could have been a disaster. I was in the parade standing on a truck. I could have been shot in the head,” said Eileen Tyzner, the president of the Sayville Chamber of Commerce.
Tyzner said Sayville‘s Pride parade was marred by the theft of 21 flags and years of hate-filled threats.
Court documents reveal a search of Fehring’s Bayport home turned up guns and ammunition, and DNA that links him to a litany of death threats, including against the New York City Pride March, that “Radio-controlled devices placed at numerous strategic places … with firepower … would make the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting look like a cake walk.”
“Explicit threats that they were going to kill me, they were going to put a knife in my back, put a bullet through my head. They knew where I live,” Kilmnick said.READ MORE: Federal Prosecutors Say Robert Fehring Of Bayport Planned To Place Explosive Devices At This Year's NYC Pride March
Kilmnick said he faults local police for not involving the FBI sooner.
“Perhaps we wouldn’t have to have worry about our community’s lives being threatened and taken because of this deranged individual. The federal government should have been brought in right away,” Kilmnick said.
Fehring, who is also charged with making threats through the U.S. mail, is free on $100,000 bond and ordered to home confinement and electronic monitoring.
“Mr. Fehring, he respects the process and he asks that it be allowed to play itself out to the end in court,” defense attorney Glenn Obedin said.
“He victimized us for three years and to find that he just walked out and watching them take the cuffs off him, I don’t understand that,” Tyzner said.
The FBI also found in Fehring’s home a dead bird in an envelope addressed to an LGBT attorney. Prosecutors said he doesn’t deny he authored some of the letters.MORE NEWS: New York Landmarks Lit In Pink, White & Blue To Honor Transgender Day Of Remembrance
The FBI is the primary federal agency responsible for investigating civil rights violations and urges anyone who has received a similar threat to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.