September 6, 2016 at 11:23 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Man making ‘Pulse’ nightclub threats arrested by FBI
Jungwirth, gay news, Washington Blade

Craig Allen Jungwirth was arrested by the FBI after reports surfaced he made anti-gay threats on Facebook.

A man who posted messages on Facebook last week threatening to carry out a Pulse nightclub type shooting against LGBT people on Labor Day in the gay enclave of Wilton Manors, Fla., was arrested by the FBI in Orlando on federal charges of making threats to injure people.

Craig Allen Jungwirth, 50, who had been promoting a gay event in Wilton Manors and nearby Fort Lauderdale known as Beach Bear Weekend, was initially arrested on Saturday, Sept. 3, by the Florida Highway Patrol in Osceola County, Fla. near Orlando on an unrelated charge of driving with a suspended license, according to Orlando police.

An arrest affidavit released by the FBI the following day says FBI agents arrested Jungworth on a federal charge of making threatening communications after his arrest for driving without a valid license. The affidavit says the FBI arrest followed a joint investigation by the FBI and the Wilton Manors Police Department into Jungwirth’s alleged threats.

A press release issued by Wilton Manors police on Aug. 30 says the department opened its own investigation that day and alerted the FBI and Florida state police after being informed by members of the LGBT community that Jungwirth had allegedly made a series of Facebook postings threatening to “exterminate” LGBT people in Wilton Manors possibly over the Labor Day weekend.

“Wilton Manor Police Department will have increased patrol and visibility throughout the holiday weekend, working with local bars and restaurants in an effort to beef up private security,” the Aug. 30 press release said. “In addition, we have reached out to our local law enforcement partners and asked that they consider providing additional assistance.”

The six-page FBI arrest affidavit quotes one of Jungwirth’s Facebook postings as saying, “None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait until you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”

According to the affidavit, another one of Jungwirth’s alleged postings said, “You can never catch a genius from MIT and since you faggots aren’t dying of AIDS anymore, I have a better solution to exterminate you.”

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that investigators confirmed that Jungwirth had attended MIT.

“On August 30, 2016, Craig Jungwirth was identified by the Wilton Manors Police Department as a known individual and past city resident who had previously been the subject of numerous complaints involving the harassment and stalking of Wilton Manors residents,” the FBI arrest affidavit says.

South Florida Gay News, which was the first to report the Aug. 30 Facebook postings under Jungwirth’s name making the alleged threats, reported earlier this year that multiple complaints had surfaced over the way Jungwirth was operating Beach Bear Weekend. The SFGN also reported that at least two people who had dealings with him in Florida and Massachusetts filed court petitions for restraining orders against him on grounds of threatening behavior.

SFGN, which took screen shots of Jungwirth’s Facebook postings, quoted another one as saying, “I’m gonna be killing you fags faster than cops kill niggers. It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS infested losers.”

An FBI spokesperson told the Sun Sentinel that Jungworth was being held since the time of his arrest in the Seminole County Jail in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando and he was expected to appear in federal court in Orlando on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office said Jungworth did not appear in court as scheduled due to unexpected health issues.

The FBI arrest affidavit says Jungwirth denied making the threatening Facebook posts when questioned by FBI agents. It says he refused to speak further with agents and requested they contact his lawyer. The Sun Sentinel reported that the lawyer, Ron Baum of Ft. Lauderdale, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The arrest affidavit says that at the time of his arrest Jungwirth had been living at the residence of his mother, Maryann T. Jungwirth, in Orlando.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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