A 44-year-old Rhode Island man who police said had an extreme dislike for the New England Patriots has been charged with threatening to commit a shooting at Gillette Stadium before the team’s first regular-season game last Sunday night.
Tobias Gray of East Providence appeared in Providence District Court on Sept. 9, wearing a New York Giants jersey, and was arraigned on charges, unrelated to the Foxboro charges, of domestic assault and battery and threats to public officials. Gray did not enter a plea on either charge and was ordered held on $25,000 surety bail.
Gray agreed to waive extradition to Massachusetts, where he’s wanted by Foxboro police on fugitive from justice charges of threatening to commit a crime and uttering a terroristic threat.
Foxboro police said they were contacted Saturday night by Massachusetts State Police about a “troubling social media post” from Rhode Island.
They began investigating with East Providence police, who Sunday afternoon went to 58 Anthony St. in East Providence to serve Gray with a warrant for domestic simple assault. Police said Gray became hostile and aggressive, telling an officer, “I’m going to make it my life mission to find you and your kid and you’re going to wish we never met.”
Foxboro police have not revealed details of the threat they are investigating.
However, Gray’s attorney, Stefanie DiMaio-Larivee of Providence, said her client apparently made a Facebook post expressing his irritation the Patriots signed controversial receiver Antonio Brown and he meant no harm, not thinking the posts were serious. She said Gray immediately took the posts down, adding that he’s in disbelief about the situation.
WBZ-TV reported Gray threatened on social media to “pull a white boys school shooting at Foxboro” and “if I ever get my hands on a gun which I don’t have one yet but I’m looking I will go shoot up random people at Foxboro.”
There were pictures of Gray holding guns on Facebook, according to a Foxboro police report. A judge in Providence described Gray’s record as extensive.
Foxboro Police Chief William Baker said his department will “continue to confront the ongoing challenge of malevolent and criminal social media posts and vigorously investigate those cases in close collaboration with our local, state and federal and private sector partners and take appropriate action as allowed by Massachusetts law.”
Foxboro Police with the assistance of the Norfolk District Attorney’s office have obtained an extraditable warrant for the charges.
Gray is expected to appear for arraignment in Wrentham District Court. Patrolman Stephen McGrath and Lt. Richard Noonan are leading the investigation by Foxboro police.