New Jersey man taken into custody after walking into a New York cathedral with two gasoline cans and lighters
A 37-year-old man from New Jersey, later identified by police as Marc Lamparello, was recently taken into custody. Lamparello attempted to walk into St. Patrick's Cathedral with two bottles of lighter fluid, two extended lighters, and two gasoline cans, according to police.
NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller confirmed at a press conference that he parked a minivan on Fifth Avenue around 7:55 pm on Wednesday, before attempting to enter. A security guard prevented him from entering the building, and notified two counterterrorism officers.
When the guards caught up with him, he responded to questioning with "inconsistent and evasive answers, according to Miller. "His basic story was that he was cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue, [he said] his car had run out of gas," the deputy said. However, when they checked his car, it wasn't out of gas.
"It's hard to say what his intentions were, but I think the totality of circumstances of an individual walking into an iconic location like St. Patrick's Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters is something that we would have great concern over."
High security around St. Patrick's is normal, according to police, but efforts were doubled following the fire that took place at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, Miller added.
This video shows the tragic moment the Notre Dame spire collapsed in flames
Miller confirmed that the suspect was "known to police," and initial reports suggested Lamparello was emotionally disturbed.