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St. Patrick’s Cathedral Reopens After Man Allegedly Walked In Armed With Gasoline, Lighter Fluid – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey man accused of carrying gasoline and lighter fluid into St. Patrick’s Cathedral was taken into custody Wednesday and held overnight for questioning.

Sources tell CBS2 the suspect has been identified as 37-year-old Marc Lamparello, who apparently has a history with police.

The alarming incident happened during Holy Week for Catholics around the world and just days after the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The NYPD said the suspect parked his minivan on Fifth Avenue shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday and made his way inside the cathedral, armed with two gasoline cans, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters.

WEB EXTRA: NYPD officials detail how St. Patrick’s Cathedral suspect was stopped.

A security guard spotted him and said he could not proceed with those items. At one point, some of the gasoline even spilled inside the church.

Nearby officers were notified and stopped the suspect.

The man apparently told police he wanted to cut through St. Pat’s to get to Madison Avenue, and that his van ran out of gas. Police checked the vehicle and found out that wasn’t true.

“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,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller told reporters late Wednesday night.

The cathedral reopened Thursday morning, with officers stationed outside. Police said there is always heightened security in the area, and they’ve added more this week in wake of the Notre Dame fire.

“Complete and utter shock,” said a woman who works in the city.

“That’s what make this even worse. Easter is a couple of days away, and after what happened in Paris,” a man visiting from Florida added.

The suspect remains in police custody, where he is being questioned. At this point, it’s unclear what his motive was or what charges he may face.

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