Editor’s note: This story contains strong threatening language
BOSTON, MA — A California man was arrested Thursday and charged with making more than dozen threatening calls to The Boston Globe and threatening to shoot employees in the head after the news organization spearheaded a nationwide editorial response against President Donald Trump’s assault on the media.
Robert D. Chain, 68, of Encino, California, is charged with one count of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He will appear in federal court in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon and be transferred to Boston at a later date.
On Aug. 10, the Globe called on other publications to write editorials denouncing Trump’s “sustained assault on the free press.” On Aug. 16, more than 350 editorials ran across the country.
According to court documents, Chain started making threatening calls to the Globe’s newsroom immediately after the Aug. 10 rallying cry. He allegedly called the Globe “the enemy of the people” and threatened to kill employees over 14 calls between Aug. 10 and 22.
During one call on Aug. 16, the day the editorials were published, Chain allegedly called and said he would shoot Globe employees in the head “later today, at 4 o’clock.” That call prompted increased security at the Globe.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said threats stemming from political differences must stop.
“In the past few months, this office has charged people with threatening to bomb a minority commencement ceremony at Harvard, threatening to shoot people at a Second Amendment rally, offering money to anyone who kills a federal agent, and mailing white powder and threatening notes to certain public figures,” said Lelling. “Anyone – regardless of political affiliation – who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office. In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.”
Chain faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Photo by Alison Bauter for Patch