NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police are investigating a threatening email that targeted the New Haven Pride Center Saturday afternoon.
Police said they responded to a 911 call of an alleged bomb threat email, involving the pride center, around 12:30 p.m. The pride center was scheduled to hold a block party that afternoon but it was rescheduled due to rain.
Police closed many downtown streets and evacuated some buildings near the pride center.
A DaVita Dialysis Center located one floor above the pride center evacuated all patients by ambulances. Police told people in the surrounding area to shelter in place.
The New Haven Police Department Hazardous Device Team and dogs searched the area, according to city officials. Police reopened the area and deemed it safe for people to return.
Juancarlos Soto, the executive director of the New Haven Pride Center said he was surprised by the threatening email. He said New Haven is normally a beacon for the world in the way the city interacts with the LGTBQAI+ community.
“It rattles you a little bit, but at the same time, it sort of reminds you we have a long way to go and it sort of refuels the fire to continue to fight. And we here are gonna continue to do everything we can to make sure that our community is safe,” Soto said. “I think the intent is to target the LGBTQ community because we are LGBTQ folks. And, I think the intent is fear, to tell us that we don’t belong, and that we shouldn’t be here… I think this should be considered a hate crime.”
A representative from the New Haven Pride Center had the following to say about the threat.
“While it is disheartening to witness such acts of hatred, it serves as a stark reminder that LGBTQ+ individuals across the country still face adversity and discrimination every day. However, let this be a testament to our resilience and strength. We refuse to be consumed by fear; instead, we choose to stand taller, united in our purpose.”
The threatening email remains under investigation.