Atlanta police arrest suspect in ‘kill gays’ threat

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A man suspected of threatening to kill LGBT people during rant-filled visits to two East Atlanta bars has been detained and is likely to face criminal charges. 

The man, who has not yet been identified by Atlanta police, was nabbed after an employee of Anatolia Cafe & Hookah Lounge spotted him on Monday, matched his name to a credit card and called police. The threats from the man were widely publicized on social media after he made them on Saturday, with internet sleuths identifying the suspect and sharing photos from his Facebook page. 

The cafe on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta announced the suspect's apprehension with a Facebook post:

To the LGBT community. We are happy to announce that the creep, Joshua Magnussen, who wrote death threats against you last week at Flatiron and Midway Pub has been detained at our location. Through quick thinking from one of our employees and a name match from his credit card we were able to get police in to apprehend him with no problem. Hopefully this scumbags arrest will give our brothers and sisters some peace of mind. Love always wins!

An Atlanta police spokesperson told Project Q Atlanta that a male suspect has been detained and that investigators are pursuing arrest warrants. Additional details were not available.

Atlanta police said earlier on Monday that its Homeland Security Unit was investigating the threats. An incident report was not yet available.

On Saturday, a man carrying a backpack and duffel bag stopped at Flatiron Bar and Midway Pub and left a note that his “meal was interrupted by the filth you let in your establishment.” He ended the note with, “I will kill all your friends.” Witnesses said the man also used anti-gay slurs and threatened people.

The man also made anti-gay comments to a waiter at Midway. He wrote a note on his receipt, complaining about the “shitty environment” because of all the “faggots.” He also complained to a waiter, according to a WSB story that has since been removed from the media outlet's website.

The possible arrest of the man comes little more than a week after the gay bar massacre in Orlando that has brought increased awareness of threats from the public and police. Atlanta police have boosted patrols around LGBT businesses. 

In the wake of the Orlando tragedy, anti-LGBT rhetoric has increased. Atlanta police are pursuing a man suspected of impersonating a friend on social media and threatening to make Blake's and Ten “the next Orlando.” A Marietta man was fired by Walmart after tweeting that the mass killing was “someone doing community service.”

The attacks even prompted U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Augusta, to pray for the victims – just weeks after he led colleagues in a prayer calling for the death of gays.

UPDATE | Atlanta police confirm that Joshua Magnussen, 35, was arrested on Monday and charged with terroristic threats. He's being held in the DeKalb County Jail, an Atlanta police spokesperson said.


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