Counterterrorism officials are investigating an incident Wednesday night in which a man entered the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, carrying lighters, lighter fluid, and four gallons of gasoline.
According to the New York Post, Marc Lamparello, 37, was apprehended by church security shortly after he walked into the building around 8 p.m. Wednesday, reportedly spilling some of the gas he was carrying as security intercepted him.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said in a press conference Wednesday night that Lamparello claimed he was cutting through the historic midtown church to get to Madison Avenue because his van had run out of gas. But his story didn’t add up.
Man in custody after walking into St. Patrick’s Cathedral with gas cans, lighters
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Miller reportedly said at the press conference that the van was not in fact out of gas, and that Lamparello gave investigators inconsistent answers. He characterized the incident as “very suspicious.”
“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,” Miller reportedly said.
The incident came two days after the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was severely damaged in a fire, though authorities in Paris have said there does not appear to be a criminal element.
Lamparello was reportedly taken into custody for questioning.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
[Feature image: AP Photo/Richard Drew]