Man accused of impersonating police officer to get into synagogue

Posted: Updated:
WOODMERE -

Police say a man with a badge, handcuffs and pepper spray falsely claimed to be a cop to gain entry to a Nassau temple.

Officials say 28-year-old Mikhail Mikhaylov, of Queens, showed up to the Temple Young Israel of Woodmere Saturday morning just as services were wrapping up.

They say he parked in a restricted spot and told a security guard he was a police officer. He wore an NYPD baseball hat and had the other gear attached to his belt.

According to court documents, Mikhaylov got inside the synagogue and told people he had a gun in his car. The head of security stopped and questioned him.

Mikhaylov flashed what looked like an NYPD detective shield, and was then asked to show his police identification. Detectives say that's when he went back to his car and took off.

When he was apprehended, police say Mikhaylov had two knives on him.

In court Monday morning, an attorney representing Mikhaylov told the judge he had gone to the temple to pray.

News 12 went to Mikhaylov's Far Rockaway apartment building, where a man who identified himself as Mikhaylov's father said he didn't know why his son would impersonate a cop at a synagogue.

A shocked neighbor told News 12 that Mikhaylov is a good guy. "He actually has prayed at my synagogue at times," the neighbor says.

News 12 reached out to temple officials, but no one was available for comment.

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