Man sets himself on fire outside Manhattan courthouse

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   April 20, 2024   Update on : April 20, 2024

Maxwell Azzarello, man sets himself on fire, Man sets himself on fire
Photo: Screengrab

A man set himself on fire in a park across the street from the New York City courthouse where former US President Donald Trump is currently standing trial on criminal charges of falsifying business records.

The incident happened on Friday afternoon when Trump was inside the downtown Manhattan courthouse at the time.

Trump was later made aware of the fire outside, reports ABC News.

Following the incident, the man, Maxwell Azzarello, was seriously burnt and taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Jeffrey Maddrey, New York City Police Department (NYPD) chief of department, said at a news conference that before pulling out a canister, Azzarello took pamphlets out of his backpack and threw them around the park. He then poured a liquid on himself and lit himself on fire.

To try to extinguish the blaze, civilians, police, and court officers ran into the park as Maxwell eventually fell to the ground and civilians, said Maddrey.

One witness told ABC News that, “He [ Maxwell] threw these pamphlets across the park after dousing himself. Later, he immediately lit himself on fire.”

Officials said they thought the pamphlets to be “propaganda-based and described Azzarello as a “conspiracy theorist.”

Officials also said Azzarello, who came from St. Augustine, Florida, arrived in New York earlier in the week, adding that the incident appears Maxwell acted alone.

Expressing very concern, Maddrey said the New York police will review security protocol due to the “gravity of the event,” referring to the Trump trial.

Donald Trump is facing felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to actress Stormy Daniels.

It is the first time in US history that a former president has been tried on criminal charges.

The trial began on Monday after the full jury panel was selected by midday Friday. Introductory statements will take place on Monday.


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