Man Caught with Cans of Gas at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York
The New York Police Department arrested the man after security was alerted
Police in New York has taken a man into custody after he was caught tiring bring gas cans, lighters, and lighter fluid inside the famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York Wednesday.
The New York Police Department arrested the man after security was alerted on Wednesday night about 8 p.m at the cathedral, John Miller, the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism confirmed at a press conference.
The news has prompted heightened tension around churches and cathedrals following the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.
The man allegedly pulled up in a minivan and got out, then later returned to the vehicle to recover two cans of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid, and two lighters, according to police.
Authorities say he then made his way towards the iconic cathedral.
According to Washington Examiner:
“As he enters the cathedral, he is confronted by a cathedral security officer who asked him where he’s going, informs him he can't proceed into the cathedral carrying these things,” Miller said.
“At that point, some gasoline apparently had spilled out onto the floor.”
UPDATE: 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/bJDXrR6e8q— NYPD Midtown North (@NYPDMTN) April 18, 2019
Two counterterrorism officers eventually found the man. Miller said his answers were “inconsistent and evasive.”
NYPD posted a photo of the seized items to Twitter, writing:
“Around 7:55 pm, 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.”
The suspect claimed his car was out of gas and he was cutting through the cathedral.
But police said that after inspecting his vehicle they found it to be false.
Miller said the man in custody was known to police and, “It's hard to say exactly what his intentions were.”
The FBI’s joint terrorism task force is involved “out of an abundance of caution,” Miller said, and police still don’t know the man’s mindset or motive.