51-year-old Dmitri Mishin had his first court appearance Friday over firing a round of blanks inside a Richmond District synagogue, and while he pleaded not guilty to firearm and hate crime charges, the judge denied his release saying he may still pose a threat to the community.
Russian-American SF resident Dmitri Mishin is accused of brandishing a gun toward staff at the Balboa Theatre on January 31, and more troublingly, entering a synagogue and firing shots at the ceiling during a study session the next evening. While it turned out the shots were blanks, that is all still very much not legal, and he certainly traumatized the congregation at the Schneerson Center where he fired the shots. When it was reported Mishin had a slew of antisemitic social media posts (including one with him in full Nazi uniform), DA Brooke Jenkins saw fit to add hate crime charges to the gun charges.
Mishin was arraigned on these charges Friday morning. And while KPIX reports he pleaded not guilty, he was also denied release from jail and will remain in custody. SF Superior Court Judge Victor Hwang deemed that Mishin still posed a threat to the community, and so Mishin remains in SF County Jail.
"This is another deplorable example where our Jewish community has been targeted for who they are and what they believe," DA Jenkins said in a statement. "There is no doubt that antisemitism is real and we must stand with our Jewish community against it. My office will make clear that there is zero tolerance for hate in San Francisco and there will be no safe haven for those who perpetrate these crimes."
According to KPIX, Mishin is charged with “two felony counts of making threats obstructing exercise of religion, one count of misdemeanor disturbing a religious meeting and five counts of misdemeanor brandishing a replica firearm.” He’s scheduled to appear in court again on February 21 for a preliminary hearing.
While Mishin is in custody and has been charged, SFPD still considers this an active investigation. If you have any information on these incidents, you’re asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at (415) 575-4444, or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with “SFPD.” Tipsters can remain anonymous.
Image via SFPD