Metro Weekly

Atlanta Man Arrested for Violent Threats Against LGBTQ Bars

Chase Staub allegedly threatened one bar in an Instagram post, and threatened patrons at another bar in person.

Chase Staub mugshot

As the LGBTQ community continues to recover from the shocking and deadly mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub, police in Atlanta announced the arrest of a man accused of threatening to carry out acts of violence against local LGBTQ bars.

Atlanta Police Department Homeland Security detectives said Atlanta resident Chase Staub posted a series of threats in videos posted to Instagram.

In one post, Staub left a number of sticky notes on a mirror bearing the cryptic message: “Don’t give me something to shoot about” and noting that Georgia is an “open carry” state. In another, he wielded a weapon that later turned out to be a pepper spray gun, posing in a mirror with writing on it reading: “I will judge.” 

As reported by the Post Millennial, in a third video, Staub shared a text message he received, saying “People are calling us saying you bought a gun and are showing it online and they are fearing for their lives. What’s going on? They are getting ready to call police. They are saying you are threatening to kill them. Answer.”

The videos had reportedly been circulated among people within Atlanta’s LGBTQ community prior to Staub’s arrest. Police said they were alerted to the social media posts by employees of the LGBTQ bar The Heretic Atlanta, who reported on Nov. 23 that “they observed threatening remarks made towards their establishment on social media.”

“We were able to engage our Homeland Security unit, and they were able to search further into the social media account and found some concerning things,” Atlanta Police Sgt. Jarius Doughtery told local news station Fox 5 Atlanta

On Nov. 24, while police were investigating the online threats, officers responded to a call from Felix’s, another LGBTQ bar. Upon their arrival, they were told that Staub had entered the bar and allegedly threatened those present before “being asked to leave.”

Police later apprehended Staub at his home, without incident, and held him in the Fulton County Jail. He faces charges of terroristic threats and acts and disorderly conduct, and has since been released on bond, according to jail records. 

The threats have understandably left people within the LGBTQ community on edge.

“Mr. Staub scared the heck out of a lot of folks and that’s NOT ok,” Alan Collins, the manager of The Heretic Atlanta, told Fox 5 in an email. “He obviously needs help, but must be held accountable for his actions and the fear he caused our community.”

Georgia LGBTQ groups are disturbed by the threats, which were received just days after the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs that killed five and left over 20 others injured. Advocates — both local and national — have claimed that these instances of violence and threats against LGBTQ establishments come at a time when anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, especially in the political sphere, is heightened, and when various state legislatures are pushing bills attacking LGBTQ rights, the parental rights of people with LGBTQ children and LGBTQ visibility more generally.

“We see these establishments as a safe space. These are more than just bars or businesses. These really are a family, they’re a refuge for many of us,” Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality, told Fox 5. “Members of our community experience this on an ongoing basis, but what we have seen is a number of rhetorical attacks on the LGBT community at large.”

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