A New York man is accused of threatening to shoot people at a Jewish children's camp for allegedly not social distancing or wearing masks, authorities said.
Nicola Pelle, 58, of Inwood on Long Island, faces charges of making a terroristic threat and on alleged weapons violations.
Pelle allegedly called Nassau County police Monday to report a violation of social distancing at Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island children’s camp, according to a police statement. On the call, Pelle said there were 500 kids playing in a yard who were not wearing masks or social distancing.
"While police were en route the defendant, Nicola Pelle called again and threatened to get a gun and shoot the individuals at the location if the police didn’t get there," the statement said.
"If I gotta go out there with a freaking machine gun and shoot all these people, I will," Pelle said on the call, according to Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, NBC New York reported.
When police arrived, Pelle identified himself as the caller, and he was arrested without incident, according to police.
Investigators found Pelle was in possession of a valid county pistol permit, and had five handguns, along with rifles and shotguns, which included two assault weapons. NBC New York reported that 14 weapons in all were seized from Pelle, including a Bushmaster rifle.
Pelle was arraigned Tuesday on charges of making a terroristic threat, four counts of criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of criminal possession of a firearm. He was later released on bond, according to NBC New York, which reported that emergency medical responders were seen at his home shortly thereafter.
The station said that Rabbi Ari Ginian, who runs Yeshiva Ketana, said Pelle has lived next door to the camp for years and that his reaction was "very uncharacteristic."
"He may have been frustrated by some of the situation we are under. There is duress right now on everyone's part. We feel for him that he brought himself to that point," Ginian said. The school did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.
Phone calls to numbers listed for Pelle went unanswered Tuesday morning. He is expected to appear in court in October.