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Press Release

Columbus man charged with hate crime for making anti-Semitic threats to neighbors, breaking their window

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Columbus man has been charged by criminal complaint in federal district court with criminally interfering with the right to fair housing.


Douglas G. Schifer, 65, allegedly used force and the threat of force to intimidate his neighbors because of their religion.


According to documents filed in connection with the complaint, Schifer shouted anti-Semitic slurs, obscenities and other derogatory language about their religion at his neighbors on Nov. 7, 2020. Court documents also allege he broke one of their windows and spat on one of the neighbors.


In his alleged threats, Schifer stated he would shoot the neighbors, poison their dog and burn down a garage they were remodeling into an apartment. He allegedly made reference to gassing Jewish people and burning them in ovens.


If convicted, Schifer would face up to one year in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000.


Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Columbus Police Interim Chief Michael Woods announced the charges. Assistant United States Attorneys Peter K. Glenn-Applegate and Heather A. Hill, and Trial Attorney Cameron Bell of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are representing the United States in this case.


A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.


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Updated March 18, 2021

Civil Rights