By Phil Corso
The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a Bayside man Tuesday night for allegedly threatening to kill employees of a Pennsylvania bank, authorities said.
According to a criminal complaint filed by an FBI agent, Michael Chung, 52, faxed a threatening note to a Sovereign Bank in Pottsville, Pa. referring to his Second Amendment rights to justify potentially killing bank employees.
An FBI agent said Chung held a loan with the bank that may have blocked him from selling his Bayside home at 211-35 23rd Ave. while he still owed about $179,000 on the loan. Law enforcement officials had reason to take Chung’s threats seriously as he also had a shotgun registered in his name, the criminal complaint said.
“The 2nd Amendment to the National Constitution authorized the use of deadly force to protect my interests as a national citizen,” Chung said in the faxed letter in which he tried to terminate the loan he owed. “I believe I have a basis to act in that manner.”
Chung denied making threats and the accusation that he owned a shotgun at his arraignment in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday during which Judge James Orenstein considered ordering a psychiatric examination of the Bayside man. The judge refused Chung’s requests to represent himself and ruled he was a danger to the community and was to be held without bail.
According to the FBI, Chung identifies himself as part of the sovereign citizen movement, a small group of people who do not believe in obeying government rules or paying taxes. Federal investigators have long since considered the movement a domestic terror threat.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.