Tag Archives: Max Bernegger

Max Bernegger Firestorm Continues

A number of “06880” readers were appalled at the behavior of Max Bernegger, the 2020 Staples High School graduate who taunted pro-choice protestors from the steps of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral Sunday, while wearing a jacket bearing Fire Department of New York logos. The FDNY quickly noted that he is not a New York firefighter.

Meanwhile, a number of “06880” readers urged compassion for Bernegger, who was arrested in 2020 for posting flyers in Westport falsely implying that outside far-left agitators were coming to terrorize the town.

Readers reached out privately to me as well. Some said that Max’s parents — longtime Westporters — are wonderful people, pained by their son’s actions. Some urged compassion for a young man who made a mistake. Some said he was a young man trying to find his way. Some said he was troubled, and needs help.

I told someone with connections to the family that I would be glad to give Max a chance to tell his side on “06880.” I would also print a statement from the family. I have not heard back.

Today, as the video of Max continues to draw millions of views on social media, more videos have surfaced.

One shows him on the Stew Peters Show last night. He says his name is Chad McDowell, and claims that pr0-choice advocates were planning to attach St. Patrick’s Church “for Satan.”

He also may have changed his name on Facebook to Jacob A. Tate — a Black soldier killed in Afghanistan. Using that name, he posted on Tate’s mother’s page that her son deserved what he got. Those posts are now unavailable.

Meanwhile, Max is no stranger to protests. He was at this earlier event, as posted on Twitter:

Max shows no signs of repentance. In fact, he’s doubling down:


The posts above were recent. Those below are from March:


Someone who knows Max and his parents asked me to stop “piling on.”

I’m not piling on. The tagline of “06880” is “Where Westport meets the world.”

Max Bernegger — aka a New York firefighter, Chad McDowell, Jacob A. Tate, and perhaps other names — has made this Westport story into a national one.

Staples Grad’s Taunts Spark Viral Reaction

As hundreds of pro-choice advocates rallied in Westport on Sunday, a similar event took place at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in lower Manhattan.

A small group of anti-abortion advocates stood on the cathedral steps. A video of one member shouting at the pro-choice marchers quickly went viral.

“I am the people. The people have decided. The court has decided. You lose,” he says with a smirk.

“You have no choice. Not your body, not your choice. Your body is mine, and you’re having my baby.” He quickly adds: “Joke.”

The video went viral, with millions of views. Pro-choice advocates were outraged. Far right Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar called the man a “hero.”

He wore Fire Department of New York logos on his jacket. Soon, “FDNY” trended on Twitter. The actual FDNY issued a statement, saying he was not a member of the department, and his comments did not represent its values.

Around the country, media outlets tried to identify him.

Members of Staples High School’s Class of 2020 knew exactly who he is. Texts and messages flew back and forth. “Did you see Max?” they asked each other.

“Max” is Max Bernegger — their classmate.

This is not his first political activism.

In October 2020 he was arrested for breach of peace. He and a juvenile had posted flyers with messages like “Kill Trump. Fight the White. This Town Is Ours” and “Kill Trump. And Once We Win We’re Coming to Westport” on Church Lane.

They wanted Westporters to think the posters were the work of a radical left organization, and that outsiders would soon wreak havoc here.

Now, in another political battle, he’s wreaked his own.

Police Arrest 2 For Threatening Flyers

Less than 2 weeks ago, threatening political flyers were posted throughout Church Lane. Today, the Westport Police Department made 2 arrests. They say:

Through a review of surveillance video, detectives obtained footage featuring  images of 2 suspects. Both individuals were positively identified.

A juvenile was charged with breach of peace in the 2nd degree via a juvenile referral.

The second suspect was identified as Max Bernegger, age 18, of Westport.  An arrest warrant was sought and ultimately granted for Bernegger in connection with this investigation.

This morning, Bernegger turned himself in at police headquarters. He was charged with breach of peace in the 2nd Degree. He posted a $500 bond and was released. He will be arraigned at Norwalk Superior Court on the morning of Tuesday November 17. 

Two of the flyers posted on Church Lane.