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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 2, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 36
Man who made threats against LGBTQ community under intense scrutiny in FL
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Man who made threats against LGBTQ community under intense scrutiny in FL

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor The tragedy that occurred at Pulse Nightclub in June, which saw the worst mass shooting in recent American history, should serve as a wakeup call to the LGBTQ community. We have to take threats seriously, and we need to demand that law enforcement do the same. While locally that has its challenges, Fort Lauderdale PD's recent contact with a man who made threats against the Gay community on Facebook ought to be a good barometer for other departments around the country to use when they consider handling threats received by our community.

Police Chief Paul O'Connell said Wednesday that they made contact with Craig Jungwirth and are investigating the man for making threats against the community on social media.

'We have to put pieces of the puzzle together to establish probable cause that he's committed a crime,' O'Connell said.

In a Facebook post, Jungwirth allegedly wrote, 'It's time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS-infested losers.'

In response to the online threats, some bars in Wilton Manors, such as Rumors Bar and Grill, reported that they stepped up security with armed guards.

In another post, the suspect allegedly wrote, 'If you losers thought the Pulse Nightclub shooting was bad, wait till you see what I'm planning for Labor Day.'

'They are alarming, and in a community like Wilton Manors, when you mention the word Pulse in the context in which he's mentioned it, you hit a raw nerve, and so our community is extremely upset,' O'Connell said.

Another post reads 'I'm gonna be LOLing you f***** faster than cops kill n******. It's time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS-infested losers.'

Facebook has since deleted his profile.

According to authorities, Jungwirth has a lengthy criminal history, which includes stalking charges.

O'Connell said that as the holiday weekend approaches, officers will be out in full force in Wilton Manors.

'We're gonna have extra patrols, high visibility throughout the holiday weekend, and we know Fort Lauderdale Police and the Broward Sheriff's Office are going to work with us on that,' he said.

Police are asking anyone else who has been threatened by Jungwirth to call them.

It is important to note that free speech doesn't equal anonymity if you make threats to harm people. Hate speech does, unfortunately, fall under free speech, but again, if it goes too far, it could lead to an arrest. While Jungwirth has yet to be taken into custody, the fact that Fort Lauderdale Police made contact with the man and advised him to stop what he was doing is a deterrent. It also shows the alleged suspect that the authorities know who he is and where he lives, and are likely watching him. This kind of policing saves lives.

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