State College man facing felony charge after intimidating Black man with replica gun

Abby Drey/adrey@centredaily.com
·2 min read

A white State College man was charged with ethnic intimidation after borough police said a Black man feared for his life during an interaction in a convenience store that involved a replica submachine gun.

Bertrand Kleindorfer, 59, was accused of approaching the man in May while wearing a military vest and telling him “It’s pretty dangerous being Black around here.”

Kleindorfer lifted a replica MP 40 “in a shooting manner” and was waving the imitation firearm back and forth, police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause. He also had two handguns holstered and talked about killing people, police wrote.

Kleindorfer was also accused of following the man throughout the store, even asking if he wanted to see how the guns worked. The man, police wrote, described being “in fear for his life” and “felt threatened due to his skin color.”

“The victim stated that all he could think about is how his parents would feel if he had been shot,” police wrote.

A defense lawyer was not listed. A phone number listed for Kleindorfer did not accept a call.

Lorraine Jones, president of the State College NAACP, said that the organization is “mortified by the details of this incident.”

“It is deeply disturbing that people with intolerance and mental health issues can access guns,” she wrote in a 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.”

Kleindorfer was charged with one felony count of ethnic intimidation and one misdemeanor count each of terroristic threats, simple assault and disorderly conduct. He was also charged with one summary count of harassment.

He was arraigned Thursday by District Judge Allen Sinclair, who released him on $25,000 unsecured bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.