A Hopkins, Minn., man was arrested in July after he threatened to murder the city’s police chief and his son with a baseball bat.
Hennepin County Jail records indicate that Michael Vince Levin, 53, was booked on July 13 on two felony counts in the case — threats of violence and fifth-degree drug possession — and released five days later on a $10,000 bond.
“This is an example of a system that does not protect us. We need to support our law enforcement officers and allowing someone that has made death threats to be out of jail in a short amount of time with minimal bail is ridiculous,” said Alan Beck, a member of the Hopkins City Council.
According to the charges:
A Hopkins resident called 911 around 12:30 p.m. July 12 to report that their neighbor, Levin, was “outside screaming and waving a gun around.”
When police arrived, they spoke with neighbors who said Levin had been displaying “threatening behavior” and began negotiating with him over the phone. Since Levin was “clearly in a manic state,” a Hennepin County crisis response team was called to the scene and completed a transport hold for Levin.
At one point, Levin exited his home and said, “if you want to go to war, we go to war.” He later stated that he had a “9mm and was going to shoot” the officers on scene.
The negotiations lasted for several hours and included many threatening comments from Levin, who said he knows where Chief Brent Johnson “lives down to a T” and “guaranteed” he would murder Johnson and his son “with an aluminum baseball bat in under three seconds.”
He also claimed to have boobytrapped his front door, said he was always “strapped with guns,” and seemed to threaten to kill “two small children” who live across the street.
A SWAT team eventually breached Levin’s front door, placed him under arrest, and transported him to a hospital.
Inside his house, police recovered several BB guns, throwing knives, police handcuffs and holsters, shell ammunition, and 1.75 grams of meth.
Levin is also facing disorderly conduct charges in a St. Louis Park case where he allegedly threatened to kill a minor who was sitting next to him at the Bais Yisroel Synagogue in June.
“When victim stood up to leave, Defendant stated, ‘See you later,’ while simultaneously gesturing his hand across his own neck and pulling it across in a cutting motion,” the charges say.
Levin had previously told a community member something along the lines of, “Pray for me so I don’t go nuts and shoot,” according to the charges.
“Defendant is known by law enforcement to engage in similar behavior, particularly in the Jewish community,” the charging document says. On June 12, Levin entered the Kenesseth Israel Synagogue wearing camouflage pants and sunglasses while making “bang, bang” sounds, according to the charges. He threatened to “become physical” with the responding officers and was found to be in possession of a stun gun.
“Defendant has a well document[ed] history of mental illness. The State has significant concerns that Defendant’s mental health is rapidly deteriorating,” the charges in the St. Louis Park case conclude.
Levin’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 11.