News » Crime

Iowa Man Admits to Sending Threatening Letter to Gay Bar

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Monday April 13, 2015

A man from Iowa was arrested Thursday after admitting to sending a Des Moines gay bar a threatening letter he claimed to be filled with anthrax, the Des Moines Register reports.

Police charged Eric Reece Wiethorn, 49, of Ames, Iowa, with first-degree harassment after admitting to sending a letter on March 27 to the Blazing Saddle bar, which caused the establishment to close. Police, firefighters, and hazmat teams came to the bar after it was reported the letter, which was full of gay slurs, contained an unknown white powder.

Authorities later determined the powder was Gold Bond powder and not toxic. Police then launched a criminal investigation. Police from Des Moines acted on an anonymous tip thy received and eventually made contact with Wiethorn, who admitted to sending the letter.

In a separate Des Moines Register article, published on March 27, the owner of the Blazing Saddle, Robert Eikleberry, told the newspaper his bar is the "biggest target in town," as it's one of the oldest gay bars in Iowa.

"I opened it up, white powder popped out, and it was an inflammatory letter. 'Hate fags, gonna blow this up, gonna blow that up, gonna roast you all after pride'," Eikleberry told the Register. "Just ignorant childish bullshit."

At the bottom of the letter, Wiethron reportedly wrote: "This is your punishment for sinning against God, and hopefully you'll die from the anthrax on this letter!"

Wiethron was taken into custody and held at Polk County Jail on a $2,000 bond.