Robert Chain, 68, was arrested on Thursday morning. The grandfather is accused of threatening to shoot staff at The Boston Globe for their anti-Trump coverage
The Californian grandfather arrested for threatening to shoot up and bomb The Boston Globe’s offices in a series of foul-mouthed phone calls was described by neighbors as a loud ‘know it all’ who makes his female neighbors uncomfortable by cat calling them and constantly shouting.
Robert Chain, 68, was arrested in his boxers in a dawn raid on his home in Encino, California, on Thursday.
He is alleged to have called the Massachusetts newspaper 14 times between August 10 and August 22 threatening to shoot its staff because he was angry over their anti-Trump coverage.
Borrowing a phrase from Trump’s book, he called its journalists the ‘enemy of the people’ and said he would be there at 4pm on August 16 to ‘shoot them in the head’.
The threat triggered them to hire security and Boston police stood guard outside its offices as a precaution.
Speaking to DailyMail.com on Thursday, neighbor Tim McGowan, who has lived across from Chain for nine years, said he tended to avoid him.
‘He’s a loud guy. He’s very bombastic and the few conversations I’ve had with him were enough to know he’s not my kind of personality .
He’s a loud guy. He’s very bombastic and the few conversations I’ve had with him were enough to know he’s not my kind of personality
‘He’s very opinionated and loud and a bit of a know-it-all.
‘Nevertheless, I was completely surprised to hear to what level he would express his opinions, he said.
Mr. McGowan said the neighborhood was not one where residents displayed their political beliefs proudly.
He was surprised to learn that Chain was a Trump supporter and had no idea that he owned guns. The FBI found multiple weapons at his home on Thursday including a recently purchased 9mm rifle.
The neighborhood they live in is not particularly political, he said. At most, residents may sometimes place campaign signs in their yards for local elections.
McGowan said Chain, who is always at home while his lawyer wife Betty is at work, can often be heard yelling from their home.
Robert Chain was arrested in his underwear at his Encino, California, home on Thursday morning at 6am. A SWAT team is pictured outside his home
Chain made the threats towards The Boston Globe in multiple phone calls over the course of a week after it called on other newspapers to publish coordinate anti-Trump editorials on August 16. Theirs is pictured
Chain is pictured with his wife Betty and their adult son Andrew. Betty is a lawyer but it is not clear what her husband does for work, if anything. They have filed for bankruptcy twice in the past
‘My wife avoids him all the time because she is not as patient as I am. She was just like, “He’s a jerk.” He would say stuff to her like, “hey beautiful” all the time. It just made her uncomfortable.
‘He wears shorts and no shirt around his yard and he is overweight,’ Mr. McGowan said.
It remains unclear what Chain does for work. His wife Betty is a lawyer but there is no tangible record of his career.
Mr. McGowan said his wife was also unfriendly.
‘You’re the f****** enemy of the people and we’re going to kill every f****** one of you. I’m going to shoot you in the f****** head later today. 4 o’clock. Goodbye,
‘Betty is a quiet type of person. I’d wave to her and two our of ten times she’d wave back and other times she wouldn’t respond. I don’t even bother anymore.’
According to prosecutors in Massachusetts, Chain called the newspaper for the first time on August 10 after it issued a rally cry to other publications asking them to join it in publishing an editorial about President Trump’s attacks on the media on August 16.
On August 16, when the newspaper published its scathing editorial of Trump as promised, Chain called up again and threatened to be at the office to shoot employees at 4pm.
In that call, he said: ‘You’re the f****** enemy of the people and we’re going to kill every f****** one of you.
‘Hey, why don’t you call the F, why don’t you call Mueller, maybe he can help you out buddy. Still there f****t? Alright, why, you going to trace my call?
‘What are you going to do motherf*****? You ain’t going to do s***. I’m going to shoot you in the f****** head later today. 4 o’clock. Goodbye,’ he said.
Chain was arrested at home in Encino, California. His home, where he lives with his wife, is pictured
In another call, he said: ‘Hey, how’s your p***y smell today? Nice and fresh? We are going to shoot you motherf****** in the head, you Boston Globe c******ers. Shoot every f****** one of you.’
The specific threat prompted police in Boston to stand guard outside the office for the afternoon. The Globe also hired its own security when the threatening calls began.
On August 22, he called from a different number and said he wanted to get in touch ‘because you are the enemy of the people and I want you to go f*** yourself.’
‘As long as you keep attacking the President, the duly elected President of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts, I will continue to threat, harass and annoy the Boston Globe, owned by the New York Times, the other fake news,’ he said.
The FBI were able to trace him through 12 of the calls, made between August 10 and 17, after contacting Verizon, the phone provider for the newspaper. It was able to trace his number despite it coming up as ‘blocked’ whenever he called the office.
There were a number of cars outside the man’s home that were searched on Thursday by the FBI
The FBI then traced the number through Charter Communications to his home in Califa, Calfornia.
Chain is scheduled to appear in court in Encino on Thursday afternoon before being extradited to Boston to face charges.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said on Thursday: ‘Anyone – regardless of political affiliation – who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office.
‘In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.’
Chain has no prior criminal history. Records indicate that he owns two businesses – one is an investments company.
It is not clear if either is functional or successful. He and his wife Betty have filed for bankruptcy twice in the past.