New Yorker arrested after telling police he would “shoot all these people” at yeshiva summer camp.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Police arrested a Long Island man after he allegedly called them to complain about social distancing at a Yeshiva summer camp and would “go out there with a freakin’ machine gun and shoot all these people” if nothing was done, a local New York CBS affiliate reported Tuesday.
Nassau County police said they received a call from 58-year-old Nicola Pelle of Inwood who lives next door to Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island, complaining that kids at the Yeshiva’s summer day camp were not following health guidelines.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Pelle complained “that approximately 500 students were wearing no masks and in violation of social distancing.”
“If I gotta go out there with a freakin’ machine gun and shoot all these people, I will,” Ryder quoted Pelle as saying.
Police searched Pelle’s home and found 14 firearms including legally owned rifles, shotguns, and hand guns, but also two assault weapons that are illegal, CBS affiliate WLNY reported.
Pelle, a landscaper, was charged with the felony of making a terroristic threat as well as gun crimes, which could result in a 7-to-11 year jail sentence if he is convicted.
Ryder said that while police take complaints of social distancing seriously, “we are more concerned about those threats that come every year against our children while they are in school.”
There were 570 threats against Nassau County schools just last year, WLNY reported.
Neighbor Anthony Rivellis called the threat out of character for Pelle, who he described as a a “good guy” who recently had lung cancer surgery, a factor that might have prompted the threat over his claim of social distancing violations at the camp.
“He just was frustrated and I guess with the Oxycontins in him from the cancer surgery he just made a blur. I never expected that blur to come out of his mouth, not at all,” Rivelli said.
Yeshiva Ketana executive director Rabbi Ari Ginian told reporters his camp does follow all social distance guidelines, although it may not look that way for somebody looking in to the grounds from outside.
“We feel that he may have been frustrated by some of the situation that we are under. There is duress right now on everyone’s part. We feel for him that he brought himself to that point and we hope that he takes back what he said,” Ginian said.
The camp said it is grateful to police for their quick response to the threat.