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Person tried to set himself on fire outside Trump court

Photo: Angela Weiss Agence France-Presse New York police officers monitor the scene where a man allegedly tried to set himself on fire on Friday in front of the Manhattan courthouse where Donald Trump's criminal trial is taking place.

Andréa Bambino – Agence France-Presse and Ana Fernandez – Agence France-Presse in New York

Posted at 5:00 p.m.

  • United States

A man attempted to set himself on fire Friday in front of the Manhattan court where Donald Trump is being tried, after throwing writings into the air containing “conspiracy theories” according to police.

Police identified the perpetrator as a man born in 1987, originally from Florida, and named Maxwell Azzarello. His condition is considered “serious” but “he is alive,” said New York Fire Chief Laura Kavanagh during a press briefing.

The images of the drama, broadcast by American channels and on social networks, are impressive. We see the victim, both hands behind his head, transform into a human torch for several seconds before falling to the ground. Police rushed to the man and a fire extinguisher was used against the blaze.

At the scene of the fire, in a square opposite the courthouse, clothes were still burning slowly on the ground and a strong smell was emanating several minutes later, noted a journalist from the 'AFP on site.

Person tried to set himself on fire outside Trump court

Photo: Michael M. Santiago Getty Images via Agence France-Presse Paramedics transport the person who attempted to self-immolate to the Manhattan court where Donald Trump appears on Friday.

A witness to the scene, who gave his name as Dave, 73, said he saw the man throw writings in the air before opening a can, pour the contents on him and set him on fire using a lighter.

According to one of the police officials, Joseph Kenny, the writings “are conspiracy theories, there is information about Ponzi schemes and the fact that some of our schools are fronts for the mafia.”

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Security protocol

According to the police, the man arrived in New York a few days ago.

Immediately, this drama did not disrupt the progress of the historic trial of Donald Trump. Around 3 p.m., the hearing resumed and the former President of the United States made no comment upon his return to the courtroom.

The police assured that they would re-examine the security protocols around the court, while the system is already reinforced by the presence of a former American president inside the building.

“This man did not violate security protocols,” said police chief Jeffrey Maddrey. “The park was open to the public,” he added.

This square has already been occupied since the trial opened on Monday, by a few dozen pro or anti-Trump demonstrators, but without any notable incident since.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116