The suspect is known to police who are currently looking into his background
A man was arrested Wednesday night after entering St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, police said, just days after a fire badly damaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Police said the man pulled up to the 19th century Roman Catholic cathedral on 5th Avenue in a minivan and walked around the area before returning to his vehicle and bringing the inflammatory materials into the church.
After an alarm was raised, officers from the NYPD’s counter-terrorism bureau caught up to the man and arrested him after questioning.
Some gasoline was spilled on the floor of the cathedral as the man was confronted by police, but no fire was ignited at any point during the incident.
New York Police Department (NYPD) deputy commissioner John Miller said the man claimed he was taking a shortcut through the cathedral after his car ran out of fuel, but his answers were “inconsistent and evasive.”
“We took a look at the vehicle. It was not out of gas and at that point he was taken into custody,” Miller told a press conference on the steps of the cathedral, a neo-Gothic structure in the heart of Manhattan.
Investigators said the man, whose identity has not been made public, was known to police.
“We don’t know what his mindset was, what his motive was,” Miller said.
No charges have yet been confirmed.
Around 7:55pm, a man walked into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan with gas cans and lighter fluid, and was subsequently apprehended by @NYPDCT without incident. We thank our partners for their help, and remember – if you see something, say something. pic.twitter.com/qEbmklnqzQ
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 18, 2019
Construction first started on St Patrick’s Cathedral in the mid-1880s and was completed in 1878, although extensions have been added over the years and a major restoration was completed in 2015.
The incident came just days after a fire ripped through the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, gutting the 850-year-old gothic masterpiece.
Investigators have begun their probe into the cause of the blaze. It is suspected that renovations that had been underway at the cathedral accidentally triggered the inferno.
Whistleblower hands House Dems evidence of ‘inappropriate’ interference on Trump’s tax returns
A federal employee turned over “credible” evidence to House Democrats of possible “inappropriate efforts to influence” the IRS presidential audit process, House lawyers said in a court filing Tuesday.
In July, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., sued Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin after the latter rejected the panel’s request for six years of Trump’s tax returns. On Tuesday, House lawyers cited the new evidence in a motion asking a federal judge to rule without trial that the Treasury Department is required by law to turn over the president’s tax returns.
After handing rich $1.5 trillion tax cut, Trump reportedly considering slashing Medicare and Social Security as ‘second-term project’
"Mr. Trump, you are not going to have a second term," tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders in response to the president's reported plan
After exploding the federal budget deficit with over a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the rich and massive corporations, President Donald Trump is reportedly considering using his possible second term in the White House to slash Medicare and Social Security—the final part of a two-step plan progressives have been warning about since before the GOP tax bill passed Congress in 2017.
Putin opponent Alexei Navalny freed after 30 days in jail
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was released on Friday after serving 30 days in jail for planning opposition protests, which have grown into a movement that has shaken Moscow since last month.
Police were present outside the prison on his release but made no move to re-arrest him, as they have when other opposition figures were freed recently.
Navalny emerged from jail smiling, wearing a sweatshirt and sports trousers and with a bag slung over his shoulder.
The opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner immediately condemned "acts of terror" by Russian authorities in putting down protests in Moscow in recent weeks.