A 37-year-old man has been arrested after he was caught walking into New York’s St.
Patrick’s Cathedral with lighter fluid and gas cans.
It was discovered that the man is a Ph.D. student who once wrote a passionate defense of president Trump after the French criticized him.
Marc Lamparello entered the church with two gallon cans of gasoline on Wednesday night, two days after the Notre Dame fire. He was detained by police around 8 pm.
Lamarello is a Boston College-educated philosophy teacher who has lectured at Lehman College. He also held many roles in the Catholic church.
Officers say it is too early to say whether it was terror-related. However, the incident came two days after the fire broke out in Paris.
Police added that four cans of gasoline were discovered after searching Lamarello’s vehicle.
NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism John Miller said they had increased security at the area, according to The New York Post. He also called the professor’s actions ‘very suspicious.’
He said at a press conference Wednesday evening: “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.”
Lamarello has an active online presence. Last year, he criticized a news story about French people who disliking Trump more than German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He wrote: “All I know is, if the French dislike us for something, we must be doing something right. They think they’re so much more sophisticated and culturally alluring than us. But secretly, they’re jealous of us and want to be us. Never forget that, fellow Americans.”
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