Event organizer

LI Pride organizer threatened by suspect for more than a decade

LONG ISLAND (PIX11) – A prominent Long Island Pride organizer says he was the target of one man’s anti-gay vitriol for more than a decade until the suspect was finally apprehended the year last.

David Kilmnick, president of the LGBT network, said he had been constantly harassed for 13 years with rude life-threatening letters by a suspect who lived just 15 minutes from his home.

“It had a huge impact,” Kilmnick said. “It made me think twice about simple tasks like getting the mail and taking out the trash.”

The FBI arrested Robert Fehring, a 74-year-old Long Island resident, last year for allegedly sending hateful letters to members linked to the LGBTQ+ community, including a threat to shoot the New York Pride March. York in 2021 with “firepower” that “would make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk,” according to a criminal complaint.

In a letter, Fehring allegedly threatened Kilmnick and her boyfriend, authorities said.

“[W]We were right there you… FREAK!!! They couldn’t shoot you, crawling backstage 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 eliminated…. high power bullet….bomb….knife…. no matter what,” the letter read, according to the criminal complaint.

Kilmnick said the harassment started after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and escalated after last year’s Long Island Pride event. The suspect told Kilmnick that “if you think the Boston Marathon is bad…wait for Long Island Pride,” the LGBT network president said.

Fehring allegedly sent Kilmnick a threatening letter with photos from the June Pride 2021 event.

“I had no idea who he was, but I found it pretty scary,” Kilmnick said. “He lived 15 minutes from my house.”

After years of reporting the harassment to local authorities, the FBI stepped in after the June Pride last year.

A search warrant of Fehring’s home in Bayport in November revealed photos from the event, along with two loaded shotguns, hundreds of cartridges, two stun guns and a stamped envelope addressed to an LGBTQ+ affiliate attorney containing the remains of a dead bird. , according to the complaint.

Fehring pleaded guilty to sending threatening communications through the mail, according to federal prosecutors. Kilmnick said he will speak at Fehring’s sentencing on June 17.

“I was his No. 1 target for 13 years,” Kilmnick said.

This year Pride of Long Island will take place on Sunday in Farmingdale. PIX11 News is a co-sponsor of the event.