SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -A Daly City man accused of lighting a fire at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on New Year’s Day allegedly told FBI agents in an interview after his arrest that he had been hearing voices in Chinese, according to court documents.
Details of the interview were contained in an affidavit submitted by FBI agent Michael Eldridge with a criminal complaint filed by U.S. prosecutors in federal court in San Francisco today against Yan Feng, 39, of Daly City.
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.
Special Agent in Charge David Johnson, the chief of the FBI’s San Francisco office, announced Monday that Feng surrendered to authorities on Friday.
The fire at the consulate, located at 1450 Laguna St., occurred at about 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.
Eldridge wrote that in an interview with federal agents later that day, Feng “stated in substance that he targeted the Chinese consulate because all the voices he had been hearing were in Chinese and the Chinese consulate had to have been involved.”
The interviewers were Eldridge, two other FBI agents, and an agent from the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.
Feng allegedly told the agents he drove to San Francisco in his minivan, a green 2002 Honda Odyssey, between 8 and 9 p.m. on Jan. 1, filled three containers with gasoline bought at a station on Geary Boulevard, and parked in front of the consulate.
Eldridge said Feng told the agents he placed the containers near the front entrance of the building, poured gasoline on the front door and front steps, and attempted to light a fire with his passport, but the fire did not ignite.