A New York woman has been charged with a hate crime after leaving a racist message on the voicemail of a predominantly African-American church, CBS New York reports.
Elisa Pellino, 66, was arrested after allegedly phoning the New Hope Institutional Baptist Church in Amityville this week and recording racial slurs. The message was threatening enough to prompt church pastor Sallie Lloyd to call the police. Pellino has plead not guilty.
In audio of the message aired by local 1010 WINS, a woman can be heard yelling, "Die [expletive], die!"
Lloyd told the station that in light of the racist massacre at historically black Emanuel AME on June 17, she couldn't dismiss the call as a prank.
"She could have came here. Even though she made the threat at 1 o'clock in the day, maybe later on she would have came," Lloyd told CBS News. "I didn’t want anyone to get hurt."
The pastor said she was told by detectives that Pellino allegedly scrolled through the internet searching for a black church, and that she had admitted she didn't like black people.
On June 17, a white supremacist attended a Bible study at Charleston's Emanuel AME and then gunned down nine unarmed attendees, including State Senator Clementa Pinckney.
Since then, at least three black churches in South Carolina have received threats of violence against their female pastors, Raw Story previously reported.
About a half-dozen black churches have been set on fire since the shooting, with three being attributed to arson.