Wilton Manors on alert after anti-gay social media posts

WILTON MANORS, Fla. (WSVN) — A South Florida city is on high alert after, police said, a man posted threatening posts directed at the gay community.

According to investigators, Craig Jungwirth posted epithet-riddled messages on his Facebook page aimed at gay residents of Wilton Manors. One of the posts references the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

Jungwirth, who, acquaintances told 7News, is openly gay, is the organizer of an LGBTQ event. He is accused of writing on Facebook, “My events are selling out cause you [gay slur] are total patsies. None of you deserve to live,” one the messages reads “If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait till you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”

Another post read, “You can never catch a genius from MIT, and since you [gay slur] aren’t dying from AIDS anymore, I have a better solution to exterminate you losers.”

A third post reads, “I’m gonna be killing you [gay slur] faster than cops kill [racial slur]. It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS infested losers.”

“It literally sent chills down my spine,” said Robert Boo, the CEO of the Wilton Manors Pride Center.

Wilton Manors Police and the FBI are currently investigating. “The FBI has spoken to him. He denies any involvement in these postings,” said Wilton Manors Police Chief Paul O’Connell. “We’re taking those threats that were posted, we’re taking these threats very seriously, and we’re conducting an intense investigation.”

Wednesday night, a police officer wearing a bulletproof vest was seen at the Pride Center during an HIV/AIDS awareness event. “Tonight, I asked the Wilton Manors [Police] to assist us by having a Wilton Manors Police person here, optically, to provide that support,” said Boo, “so, yeah, it is very disconcerting for me.”

O’Connell released a statement that read in part, “Investigative timelines are comprehensive and thorough. WMPD will have increased patrol and visibility throughout the holiday weekend, working with local bars and restaurants in an effort to beef up private security. In addition, we have reached out to our local law enforcement partners and asked that they consider providing additional assistance.”

Nick Berry, an owner of Rumors Bar and Grille in Wilton Manors, told 7News he’s had dealings and disputes with Jungwirth. “The threats that he’s making, I believe to be credible threats,” he said.

Berry urged residents to come forward with any information that could help investigators. “Well, we have to take it seriously. We have to protect our patrons. We have to be diligent,” he said, “and when people see something, pick up a phone.”

Jungwirth’s attorney told 7News that they have no comment at this time.

O’Connell said he knows Jungwirth is currently not in the Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach area, but their investigation is ongoing.

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