Man arrested for threatening to kill a newspaper
A California man has been arrested after allegedly threatening to kill employees in the Boston Globe, according to the newspaper’s latest editorial calling for publications nationwide to take a stand against President Trump’s attacks on the media.
LOS ANGELES – a Los Angeles man upset about The Boston Globe’s coordinated editorial comment on President Donald Trump’s attacks on the news media was Thursday arrested on charges he threatened to kill the newspaper’s journalists, who he called an “enemy of the people,” the federal prosecutors said.
Robert Chain, the threatening phone calls to the Globe’s newsroom started immediately after the entire World called on newspapers throughout the country, to condemn what they call a “dirty war against the free press,” prosecutors said. He is charged with making 14 calls in all, between Aug. 10 and Aug. 22.
On Aug. 16, the day of the scores of the papers were published , Chain, 68, of the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles, told a World staff member that he was going to shoot workers in the head for 4 hours, according to the court documents. That threat prompted a police response and increased safety in the newspaper offices.
Chain said that he would continue to be a threat to the entire World, until it stops its “betrayal and inflammatory” attacks on the Trumpet, according to a court complaint.
Several times, he called Globe staff the “enemy of the people,” a characterization of the journalists that Trump has used repeatedly, such as in a tweet on Thursday before the charges were announced.
Editorial offices have received threats for years and rarely do they result from the cost. However, the sensitivity is increased since a gunman with a long-term grudge against the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, killed five workers in June.
Federal officials promised to continue to go after those who put others in fear for their lives.
“In a time of increasing political polarization, and in the midst of the increasing incidence of mass shootings, the members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will,” Massachusetts u.s. Attorney Andrew Lelling said.
Jane Bowman, a spokeswoman for the whole World, according to the newspaper, grateful for the enforcement of the law on the efforts to protect the staff and the detection of the source of the threats.
“While it was confusing for many of our staff have to be threatened in such a way that no one – really no one – let it be in the way of the important work of this institution,” she said in an e-mail.
Chain was expected to appear in Los Angeles federal court Thursday afternoon and be transferred to Boston at a later date. He is charged with making threatening communications in the trade, which calls for up to five years in prison.
It was not immediately clear if the Chain has a lawyer. Phone messages to his wife and law office were not immediately returned, and with a person like a family member not immediately return phone messages.
A neighbor who lived across the street from the Chain and only knew him as “Rob” said he had an arrogant personality and can often be heard yelling at his television.
Tim McGowan said that he knew nothing of the Chain, the political preference and the people thought that he was an old hippie because he wore his hair in a “man bun”, and often ran around in just a pair of shorts.
McGowan said that he couldn’t imagine that the Chain is following through with violence, “but I could see him making the threats, because he is such a loudmouth.”
McGowan, said he was startled awake by three loud blows on from 6 until Thursday. When he looked outside, he saw about 30 heavily armed police officers and a tank-like vehicle. Chain finally emerged from the house in handcuffs, wearing only boxer shorts.
Records show Necklace is the owner of several weapons, including a 9mm carbine rifle he bought in May, authorities said.
In 2013, the Chain said that he had not worked in more than 20 years and was suffering from “continuing health problems”, according to court documents filed in a civil case against him over unpaid loans for students. Chain said at the time that he had a heart attack in 2005 and was receiving Social security benefits.