Craig Jungwirth, the man who was accused of making threats against the LGBT community, said he plans to hold his annual Beach Bear Weekend April 13 to 16 in Fort Lauderdale. The threats came in September of last year after the Pulse Nightclub shootings and under an account with the same name as Jungwirth.
“My events are selling out cause you faggots are total patsies. None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait till you see what I’m planning for Labor Day,” read one message. “I’m gonna be killing you fags faster than cops kill niggers. It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS infested losers,” read another.
Jungwirth, 50, was accused of posting the threats but prosecutors dropped the charges. A judge formally dismissed them on Jan. 4.
In an emailed statement to the Sun Sentinel, Jungwirth’s attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Michael Spivack, wrote “We are happy that the nightmare for Mr. Jungwirth is finally over and that he can move on.” In the same Sun Sentinel article, Spivack stated that anyone could have posted the threats under Jungwirth’s name.
But the case may not be over.
According to Wilton Manors Police Chief Paul O’Connell, federal investigators are looking for more evidence with which to prosecute Jungwirth. An email to federal prosecutors about the case was not returned in time for publication.
When the threats were made, many members of the LGBT community took to social media to express their anger and fear. Now that Jungwirth has said he will hold Beach Bear Weekend again, those same emotions have resurfaced.
“Heads up. This lunatic is trying to promote this year's [Beach] Bear Weekend. Stay clear.
He's already tried to friend me,” wrote Rick Grayson about Jungwirth on Facebook on Jan. 28.
When asked about the case being reopened, Jungwirth responded by citing his attorney’s previous statement to the Sun Sentinel. He also cited the statement when he was asked how he expects people to feel safe enough to attend his event, even though many members of the LGBT community believe he was the one who made the threats on social media.
When asked about his event, Jungwirth directed SFGN to his website, Bearsurrections.com.
The event’s name and website are very similar to the website address for BearSurrection, another bear-themed event which is planned for April 10 through 16 in Wilton Manors. That website is bearsurrection.com. It was registered Nov. 17, 2016. Jungwirth’s was registered Jan. 25, 2017.
Despite the closely related name, Jim Ward, one of the organizers for BearSurrection, said his event is not associated with Jungwirth.
“We just knew there was a huge void for bear events,” Ward said.
Jungwirth also told SFGN he planned to run for mayor of Wilton Manors in 2018, but offered no further details.