A Pennsylvania police department arrested a white man for intimidating a Black man. The individual used subliminal threats, threaded with racialized language and his flashing of firearms.
Bertrand Kleindorfer, a resident of State College, Pennsylvania, has been charged with a felonious count of ethnic intimidation, one misdemeanor count each of terroristic threats, simple assault, and disorderly conduct, and one summary count of harassment after his alleged victim reported him to the town’s police on Tuesday, May 31, CentreDaily.com reports.
He was arraigned on Thursday, June 23, by District Judge Allen Sinclair and was released on an unsecured bond of $25,000.
The Black man, whose name was not released, told the State College police officers he stopped by the Uni-Mart on S. Atherton Street, on his way to work when he was approached by Kleindorfer on May 31.
In his report, the man said the 59-year-old, wearing a military vest with two holstered guns, began following him around the store. At one point saying, “It’s pretty dangerous being Black around here.” As he commented, the man further observed Kleindorfer also had an automatic gun, that SCP later identified as a replica MP 40 submachine gun.
The Maschinenpistole 40, the actual name for the weapon Kleindorfer’s gun was modeled after, is a weapon of terror, with its roots directly connected to Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The firearm is a fully automatic-only weapon and was chambered for the ubiquitous 9×19 millimeter pistol cartridge.
The criminal complaint stated Kleindorfer held the gun as if he were aiming at people. He is said to have waved it back and forth, as he spoke about mass murder. Other witnesses said they saw and heard the same thing, and that he was miming as if shooting people the entire day.
According to the man’s filing, Kleindorfer asked him if he wanted to see how his gun worked — offering to take him outside to show him. When the man declined, the gunman continued to follow him throughout the store, tapping him on his shoulder multiple times.
When the man left the store, the gunman followed him out.
“The victim stated that all he could think about is how his parents would feel if he had been shot,” the African-American male said.
According to the police, the man was also “in fear for his life” and “felt threatened due to his skin color.”
The president of the local chapter of the NAACP, Lorraine Jones, said the community is “mortified by the details of this incident.”
“It is deeply disturbing that people with intolerance and mental health issues can access guns,” she said via a prepared statement. “Often these incidents of ethnic intimidation go unreported due to fear of retaliation. I can’t imagine how traumatic this encounter has been for the victim, his family, and the store clerk who witnessed the incident.”
“Our hearts go out to the courageous young man who refused to be intimidated and filed a police report. Our community is very fortunate that there were no casualties,” she continued.
A preliminary hearing for Kleindorfer is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29, at 8:30 a.m.