A New Jersey man is under arrest after he reportedly attempted to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City with two two-gallon gas cans, two bottles of lighter fluid and two butane lighters:
BREAKING: police sources tell @CBSNewYork a man with multiple containers of gas was stopped trying to get in to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He is now in police custody. Heavy police presence around the cathedral on 5th Ave.
— Valerie Castro (@VCastroTV) April 18, 2019
The man was originally stopped by church security guards at the entrance to the cathedral with the items seen below. Some gasoline reportedly spilled on the steps outside of the cathedral when the man turned away after the confrontation with the guard. The guard then notified two counter-terrorism officers stationed outside the church who apprehended the man:
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
A motive has yet to be determined:
NBC News: Four senior New York law enforcement officials say a 37 year old man from New Jersey was taken into custody by the NYPD at St. Patrick's Cathedral with two gas cans.
Police have not formally determined a motive. Reported w/ @jonathan4ny
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) April 18, 2019
Some reports called the man “emotionally disturbed”:
police say this is what a man from new jersey – descripted as emotionally distturbed – tried to bring into St. Patrick’s Cathedral tonight… gas cans and lighter fluid and a lighter … he was stopped by church security.
and arrested by the NYPD pic.twitter.com/JobzYJ7wKe
— Bill Ritter (@billritter7) April 18, 2019
NYPD presser here:
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) April 18, 2019