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Boston police arrests teen over threats to ‘shoot up’ gay bars

Sofia Lotto Persio November 26, 2018
A Boston police car, where police arrested a teen over threats to Boston gay bars.

Boston Police car is seen Lansdowne St. before Game Six of the 2013 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on October 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Boston Police have arrested a teenage boy suspected of making threatening phone calls to two gay bars over the past month.

The arrest took place on Friday (November 23) in New Hampshire, but the identity of the 16-year-old suspect was not released.

“At the time of his arrest, the suspect was wanted on outstanding warrants sought out of Suffolk County Juvenile Court for Threats with Serious Public Alarm and Civil Rights Violations in connection to that investigation as well as additional warrants stemming from other charges from outside jurisdictions,” read the statement from the Boston Police Department.

Boston area gay bars Alley Bar and dbar first reported receiving threatening calls a few weeks ago, alerting the authorities as the threats involved gun violence, as CBS Boston reported on November 12.

Threats against gay bars first started after california shooting

The threats first came a few days after a mass shooting took place at a bar in California on November 7, where a gunman killed 12 people before turning the gun on himself.

“We don’t take any threats lightly,” Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross said at the time, quoted by local news station WHDH

“Everybody should be able to enjoy any establishment that they wish to go into in the City of Boston. Whether it’s The Alley or dbar, you should be able to enjoy yourself peacefully.”

Both gay bars again received the threatening calls on Friday. dbar owner Brian Piccini told local news outlet WCBV the venue received a “bigoted” phone call by a person threatening to “shoot the place up.”

A vigil for victims of the Pulse shooting was held outside New York's Stonewall Inn, one of the city's most famous gay bars.
A vigil to the victims of the Pulse nightclub was organised outside New York’s iconic gay bar The Stonewall Inn. (Spencer Platt/Getty)

The Alley Bar also got a similar phone call, as the venue wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post quoted by WCBV. The bar said the caller first asked for directions to the bar. “In the course of the conversation, the person threatened the bar,” the post read.

The authorities tracked down the caller’s location to a 30-minute drive north of Boston and arrested the suspect.

“We will continue to show our defiance towards intolerance by not giving into threats by standing united at dbar,” Piccini told WCBV. “We will continue to work with the BPD to ensure a safe and friendly experience for all of our guests.”

This isn’t the first episode of gay bars being targeted with disturbing content. Last month, four gay bars in Tennessee reported receiving leaflets featuring the word LGBT with images depicting ‘Lady Liberty, Gun, Beer, Trump’ standing for each letter of the acronym.

The assault rifle on the flier resembled one of the two weapons used by Omar Mateen in the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, a gay venue in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed in 2016.

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