The man accused of setting fire to the entrance to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco appeared briefly in federal court Tuesday for appointment of his lawyer, Federal Public Defender Steve Kalar.
U.S. Marshals brought the gaunt and long-haired Yan Feng into court in leg chains and wearing a red jail jumpsuit.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth LaPorte set January 15 for a hearing on whether Feng should be held in custody while his case is pending or whether he could be released on bail safely.
Feng is named in a federal complaint accused of setting fire to the entrance to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on New Year’s Day.
An FBI affidavit states Feng came forward by walking into the Daly City police department o January 3 and announcing that he was the person who “made the fire” in front of the “Chinese Embassy,” according to the affidavit.
Feng said he was “hearing voices” and the voices were in Chinese and so the Chinese consulate had to be involved.
He allegedly drove to the building on Laguna Street and placed three gas cans in front of the door and attempted to set them on fire with his passport. When that did not work he used a large black lighter causing a fire ball and severely burning the front doors, according to the FBI.
The complaint alleges destruction of a building by fire, willful destruction of property used by a foreign government.
Case: US v. Feng, No. 14-70011EDL