Massachusetts Gay Bar Attacker Dies Following Deadly Shootout

  • February 6, 2006


A teenage neo-Nazi wanted in a Massachusetts gay bar attack died in Arkansas following a gun battle with police that killed two other people, including a police officer.

Jacob D. Robida, 18, killed Gassville, Arkansas, police officer Jim Sell on February 4, two days after injuring three men, one critically, with a hatchet and pistol at a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Robida, a high school dropout, had been active on the Internet, maintaining a profile on the on-line social networking Web site Myspace in which he proclaimed, "I'm interested in death, destruction, chaos, filth and greed."   He called himself Jake Jekyll in his profile, which included many references to Nazis and violence.

Robida posted pictures to his profile that displayed his neo-Nazi tattoos, including a swastika tattoo on his left hand and the numbers "1488" on his right hand.  This number is a common neo-Nazi numeric symbol.  The "14" refers to the "Fourteen Words" slogan popular among neo-Nazis:  "We must secure the existence of our race and a future for white children. "  The "88" stands for "Heil Hitler," as "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Another photo shows Robida standing in front of two swastika flags while pointing a gun directly at the camera.  Underneath the photograph, a caption reads "serial killa'."  Robida's profile is also full of references to Insane Clown Posse, a hard core rap group from Michigan whose logo depicts a silhouette of a man wielding a hatchet.

On February 2, 2006, Robida entered Puzzles Lounge and asked if it were a gay bar.  He ordered a couple of drinks, then struck two patrons in the head with a hatchet.  He then pulled out a pistol and shot the two victims as well   Police labeled the attack a hate crime.

After the attack, police searched Robida's room at his mother's New Bedford house.  Investigators found neo-Nazi paraphernalia and anti-Semitic and racist writing on his bedroom walls, according to a police affidavit.  Still a fugitive, he was charged with three counts of attempted murder and hate crimes.

While a police manhunt ensued, Robida drove to Charleston, West Virginia, where he picked up 33-year-old Jennifer Rena Bailey at her home, according to police.  Bailey, a mother of three, had a prior relationship with Robida and had been corresponding with him, according to West Virginia State Police.  Robida and Bailey then headed west.

Robida and Bailey were driving through Gassville, when Officer Jim Sell pulled them over for a traffic violation on February 4.  Sell, 56, was fatally shot twice, according to authorities.  Robida then drove from the scene, running over spike strips set by state troopers about 25 miles away from the shooting.

With two punctured tires, Robida then led police on a high speed chase into downtown Norfork, where he smashed into parked vehicles to evade a police barricade. "At that point, the suspect began shooting at the officers. The officers returned fire," Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said.  Robida shot Bailey in the head before he was shot during the exchange with Arkansas police, according to police.  Robida later died of wounds suffered in the gun battle.