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Suspect arrested in SF Chinese consulate arson attack

/ 07:09 AM January 07, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO—A Chinese national residing in Daly City has surrendered to authorities to face charges for starting a fire that damaged the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on New Year’s Day.

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Yan Feng, 39, allegedly told FBI agents in an interview after his arrest that he had been hearing voices in Chinese, according to court documents.

An FBI spokesman said that there was no indication the fire was motivated by terrorism, politics or civil rights concerns.

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Details of the interview were contained in an affidavit submitted by FBI agent Michael Eldridge with a criminal complaint filed by US prosecutors in federal court in San Francisco on Monday.

Feng was charged in the complaint with two counts of maliciously damaging property by means of fire and willfully damaging property belonging to or occupied by a foreign government. Feng surrendered to authorities on Friday.

The fire at the consulate, located at 1450 Laguna St., occurred around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. The building was damaged but no one was injured.

Eldridge said in the affidavit that Feng called Daly City police on Friday and “identified himself as the individual who ‘made the fire’ in front of” what Feng called the Chinese Embassy in San Francisco.

Daly City police went to Feng’s address and arrested him, the agent said.

The two charges filed against Feng each carry a possible sentence of up to five years in prison if he is convicted.

The consulate issued a statement saying, “We have noted the efforts made by the US side to investigate into the arson attack and require that the perpetrator be brought to justice.”

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TAGS: arrests, arson, Chinese consulate, Crime, Diplomacy, US
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