Inwood Man Threatened To Shoot Up Jewish Children’s Camp Over Social Distancing Violations, Cops Say

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Nicola Pelle

An Inwood man was arrested this week for allegedly threatening to shoot up a Jewish children’s camp after complaining about a lack of social distancing, Nassau County police said.

Nicola Pelle was charged Tuesday at Nassau County court with making a terroristic threat, criminal possessions of a weapon, and criminal possession of a firearm, all of which are felonies. The camp was not found to be violating New York State social distancing guidelines intended to curb the spread of coronavirus.

“I guess I gotta come out here with a friggin’ machine gun and shoot everybody,” Pelle told the Nassau health department, according to court documents.

Police said the 58-year-old man first called authorities to complain about a lack of social distancing at Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island near his home on Monday evening, but while police officers were en-route, he called a second time and made the threat.

When officers arrived, the suspect identified himself as the caller and he was taken into custody. Fourth Squad detectives determined Pelle had a valid Nassau County Pistol Permit, five handguns, as well as rifles and shotguns, which included two assault weapons, one of which was illegal under state law. Investigators seized all of the weapons as evidence.


Pelle was arraigned Tuesday at Nassau court in Mineola, where a judge set his bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. He is due back in court Thursday.

“We are very thankful to the police for being on top of it,” Rabbi Tzvi Krigsman Menahel, who runs the camp, told WABC-TV. “We feel secure and we’re confident in the safety of our children and staff.”

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