A New Jersey man was caught walking into New York’s famed St Patrick’s Cathedral with two gas cans, two bottles of lighter fluid and two extended lighters Wednesday evening, police have said.
The 37-year-old man, named as Marc Lamparello, is said to have entered the Manhattan church with the two gallon cans of gasoline before being apprehended by security at around 8pm, The New York Post reports.
Police say it is too early to say whether the incident was terror related but it comes three days after the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.
NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller confirmed they had increased security at the site in recent days. He called Lamperallo’s actions ‘very suspicious’.
At a press conference Wednesday evening he said: ‘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.’
Police tweeted Wednesday evening: ‘We are investigating an incident at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Expect a heavy police presence. Update to follow.’
They later added: ‘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.’
The archdiocese said the man was stopped as entered the landmark cathedral and there was no fire. ‘Nothing happened inside the cathedral’, they said.
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Source: Daily Mail