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August 19, 2020 1:54 pm

New York Man Who Threatened Gun Massacre at Jewish Summer Camp Over Social-Distancing Complaint Released on Bail

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Nicola Pelle was arrested for threatening a shooting massacre at a Jewish summer camp in Long Island because of alleged social-distancing violations. Photo: Nassau County Police Department.

A New York man has been released on bail after he was arrested for threatening to shoot hundreds of young Jews attending a local summer camp because of purported social-distancing violations.

Nicola Pelle, 58, of Inwood, Long Island, was charged with making terrorist threats after allegedly saying he was going to shoot people at the Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island’s children’s camp, the Nassau County Police Department said on Tuesday.

Pelle is alleged to have phoned in a complaint to police on Monday claiming that “500 students” at the camp were not wearing masks to secure against the spread of the coronavirus. While officers were on their way to the camp, Pelle phoned again in a far more agitated state, threatening, “If I gotta go out there with a friggin’ machine gun and shoot all these people, I will.”

Upon arresting Pelle, police seized 14 weapons as evidence, including five handguns, rifles, shotguns and two assault weapons, officials said.

“Our officers did an outstanding job by questioning the subject, getting him to admit that he did make that complaint and did make the threat to shoot the school up, and then going in and recovering the weapons,” Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick Ryder stated at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The yeshiva’s principal, Rabbi Tzvi Krigsman Menahel, told WABC he was “very thankful” for the police response.

“They’ve been extremely informative, transparent, and we are very thankful to them, and we feel secure and we’re confident in the safety of our children and staff,” he said.

Officers responding to the incident on Monday found about 30 children with their parents at the camp, police said.

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