A man who police say had an "intense dislike" for the New England Patriots is facing charges that he threatened a shooting at Gillette Stadium.
Tobias Gray, 44, of East Providence, was arrested Sunday afternoon, the day of the Patriots' season opener, after he made threats against Gillette Stadium in a social media post a day earlier, East Providence police said.
Gray allegedly posted a message on Facebook voicing his displeasure with the Antonio Brown signing, and Foxborough police perceived the post as a threat to Gillette Stadium.
"You might as well just hand them the ring right now," the post read. "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. (Expletive) the Patriots."
Foxborough police said they received a report about the "troubling" social media post by a party out of Rhode Island at 8:44 p.m. on Saturday. Gray was arrested in Rhode Island around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Police said Gray was arrested on a previous, unrelated domestic violence charge and was also charged with threats to a public official for making expletive-laden threats to police as they attempted to arrest him on Sunday. He is wanted as a fugitive from justice out of Foxborough, Massachusetts, on charges of threatening to commit a crime and uttering a terroristic threat.
He waived extradition to Massachusetts during an appearance in Providence District Court on Monday. He wore a New York Giants jersey for his appearance. He is expected to appear for arraignment in Massachusetts in the next day or two.
Massachusetts State Police said they were made aware Sunday by Foxborough Police of "a threat of violence (shooting)" that Gray had made regarding Gillette Stadium.
"The threat was apparently prompted by an intense dislike of the New England Patriots," state police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement.
Foxborough police are leading the investigation into the threat, and state police said they believe Foxborough police have obtained a warrant charging Gray with the threat.
Foxborough police issued a statement Monday saying they are withholding comment at this time "on any specific action our agency may have taken, or may take in the future, in response to the ongoing challenge of malevolent or criminal social media posts."
The statement added that the department will respond "vigorously" to take appropriate action as the law allows.
Gray's lawyer told WJAR that his client is just a frustrated fan and meant no harm.
"He just said it was almost– it was just a reaction. And he put something up there as any other fan might. He immediately took it down. I didn't see the post myself, so I can't comment on what it said," attorney Stefanie DiMaio Larivee said.
"Everybody writes stuff like that on Facebook every day. I write crazy stuff myself," said Dennis Northup, who considers Gray family. "I don't see that as a threat. He didn't commit the crime, they didn't find no guns in his house, no bombs."
Kelly Fanning, who has known Gray for five years, was asked if he went too far with his post.
"In this day and age? No," she said. "I don't think he meant anything by his actions."