Man Arrested with Gasoline, Lighter Fluid at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC

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A man was arrested in New York City Wednesday night after walking into St. Patrick’s Cathedral with two gas cans, two bottles of lighter fluid, and two butane lighters.

Fox News reports,

The man, whose identity will be released once he is formally charged, was stopped by a cathedral security officer, New York City Police said. The man turned around, spilling some gasoline, and walked south onto Fifth Avenue and over to 50th street.

Cathedral security notified two Critical Response Command (CRC) officers-- part of a 'striker team'-- outside the cathedral.

Investigators said the man was cooperative but acted evasively and offered police inconsistent with some answers. He told officers that he was 'cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue' and that 'his car ran out of gas,' police said. But when police checked the man's minivan, it's gas tank wasn't empty.

The man was taken into custody and brought to the Midtown North Station House, police said. It is too early to consider terrorism but 'I think, if added to that the events at the iconic location of Notre Dame and all of the publicity around that, I think this is an indicator of something that would be very suspicious,' John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence & counterterrorism of the NYPD, said.

The Midtown North NYPD tweeted an image of what they apprehended from the man now in custody, along with the following caption:

"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," the tweet reads. "We thank our partners for their help, and remember - if you see something, say something."

The FBI is assisting the NYPD with its investigation, which comes in the wake of the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, on Monday, that burned for hours as the world watched in terror.

The Notre Dame fire is being investigated as an accident and many have pledged funds to restore the 850-year-old historic landmark. 

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