More than a week after a mass shooter killed five people at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Atlanta police are on alert after arresting a man they say made several threatening social media posts targeting clubs here.
Chase Staubs was arrested on Nov. 24 and charged with making terroristic threats after police say he targeted two gay bars, the Heretic on Cheshire Bridge and Blake’s on Piedmont Road. Staub was arrested after employees reported the threats to police and he showed up at one of the bars. Police recovered a pepper-spray gun when they arrested Staub.
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Channel 2′s Justin Carter talked to a witness, who didn’t want to be identified, but saw the threatening social media posts as they were being shared.
“He mentioned several local gay bars and he just talked about how easy it would be for him to get in,” the witness said.
The witness showed Carter screenshots including a picture of what appeared to be a gun. Staubs also made comments about how to get away with murder, and posted pictures with names and cryptic messages on Post-it notes, according to the witness.
One of the notes said, “don’t give me something to shoot about.”
“One of the most disturbing messages was that he would dress up like everyone else, go in and shoot people, then run out the front door screaming like everyone else,” the witness said.
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The threats were enough that Ten Midtown on Piedmont Avenue made the decision to close on one of their busiest nights. The next day, Staub was arrested.
Carter talked to Natasha Serrano, a manger at nearby Zocolo Bar and Grill and says police are now stopping in more often to check in.
“You have to walk around your surroundings to make sure you are OK,” Serrano said. “But our business is hurting, is hurting everywhere. People do not feel safe to come out.”
Carter spoke to several businesses who said they have beefed up security efforts, adding cameras and working with the city to help keep people safe.