Massachusetts man arrested, charged for sending threatening emails to Philadelphia police commissioner

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Action News anchor Sharrie Williams sits down with Philadelphia's new police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, to talk about the future of policing in the city.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Massachusetts man has been arrested and charged with threatening the Philadelphia police commissioner, United States Attorney William M. McSwain said Tuesday.

Peter Fratus, 39, of West Dennis, Massachusetts, was charged by criminal complaint with sending threatening emails to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

The complaint alleges that on June 6, 2020, the defendant sent two emails to Outlaw's email address. Both emails allegedly contained racist, offensive, and threatening language, with one communication asking where Outlaw lives, officials said. The complaint further states that an investigation by the FBI determined the originator of the emails was Fratus and forensic evidence reinforced that Fratus sent both emails.

"As alleged in the criminal complaint, Peter Fratus' racist threats towards Commissioner Outlaw were vile and disturbing," said U.S. Attorney McSwain. "We take such threats very seriously, and let this be a warning to anyone who might feel the urge to fire off an online threat directed at a public official: we will trace your digital footprint, track you down and hold you accountable."

Fratus made his first appearance on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

If convicted, he faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.