Editor’s Note: Charges against Mikhail Mikhaylov were dismissed in February, 2019. The original article below was published on Aug. 14, 2017.
WOODMERE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Far Rockaway man is facing criminal charges, accused of posing as a police officer at a Long Island synagogue.READ MORE: Bodycam Video Shows Moments Before NYPD Lieutenant Was Shot In Ankle Apprehending Suspect In The Bronx
Congregants heading for prayer services inside the Young Israel of Woodmere Temple are still disgusted by one visitor’s attempt Saturday to portray himself as law enforcement.
“He tried being a cop, impersonating a police officer,” Macis Rand of Nassau County said.
Rand says some congregants inside the Temple knew the man who tried to portray himself as a police officer. Rand is particularly angry it happened on the Sabbath.
“When I heard the news, that’s pretty crazy doing it to a schul, I don’t know what he was hoping to gain from it,” Rand said.
Temple security staff says 28-year-old Mikhail Mikhaylov first parked in an unauthorized spot then walked in wearing an NYPD baseball cap with handcuffs, mace, and a gold badge.
The head of security told police “I heard him say he was a cop but did not see his ID.”READ MORE: Several People Shot Outside Queens Laundromat, Police Investigating
When asked for ID, Mikhaylov allegedly said “you mean my shield?”
Mikhaylov then reportedly told security his ID was in his car before going to the parking lot and racing away.
Security wrote down his license plate number and arrested him at his home the next day.
One neighbor says it’s part of a disturbing trend.
“It particularly happens in the law enforcement area because a lot of people ride around pretending to be cops because they want to be somebody they’re not,” neighbor Pete Wagner said.
Congregants say Mikhaylov said he had a gun and two knives in the car, but he’s facing no charges for that. His legal aid attorney says he simply went to the temple to pray.
Temple leaders did not comment on whether Mikhaylov is a congregation member.MORE NEWS: COVID In New York: Mask Mandates Not Being Re-Imposed Just Yet As Concern Grows Over Delta Variant
He’s now facing criminal impersonation charges in the second degree and is being held on a $2,500 bond.