RNA - An Agoura Hills man who state prosecutors say called the Islamic Center of Southern California and threatened to kill people because they were Muslim made some “intemperate comments” but is basically a decent man who is a victim of today’s toxic political climate, his attorney said Friday.
Investigators allege that Mark Feigin, 40, called the center twice last month, at one point threatening to kill its members because of his “hatred for Muslims and his belief that Muslims will destroy the United States,” Los Angeles police Cmdr. Horace Frank said at a news conference this week.
The L.A. Police Department launched an investigation into the calls and arrested Feigin during a traffic stop Oct. 19, Frank said. Police searched his Agoura Hills home and found several guns — rifles, shotguns, handguns — and thousands of rounds of ammunition in his Agoura Hills home, the commander said.
But the guns were just a collection and Feigin never fired them, said Robert Sheahen, one of his attorneys. He acknowledged Feigin “made some intemperate comments,” but said he is not conceding his client’s guilt.
The attorneys also released a statement Friday saying their client has no prior criminal record and poses no threat:
“Mark Feigin is a good, decent man. He has no criminal record and he is not a danger to anyone. He has worked as a Chinese translator, as a screenwriter and as a real estate developer,” the statement said. “If anything, Mr. Feigin was a victim of the toxic national discourse of this political season.”
Feigin has been exposed to a lot of “alt-right” media coverage that vilifies Muslims, his attorneys said. The so-called “alternative right” is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a movement of groups and individuals — largely to be found on social media and the Internet — who espouse extreme right-wing ideology and white identity politics. The movement has gained a higher profile for its embrace of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.