Nonilex, avatar

A man set himself on fire on Friday afternoon near the Lower Manhattan #courthouse where #JurySelection continued in the #criminal #trial of #Trump.

The man doused himself w/a liquid around 1:35PM ET in Collect Pond Park, across the street from the courthouse. Onlookers screamed as bright orange flames engulfed the man. It was unclear what motivated his action.

#extremism #radicalization #law

Nonilex, avatar

People rushed over to try to extinguish the fire, but the intensity of the heat could be felt several hundred feet away.

After a few mins, dozens of police officers rushed over & tried to smother the flames. The man, who appeared to be alive, was loaded into an ambulance & rushed away.

The man was in an area of the park that was cordoned off for supporters of .

Nonilex, avatar

The man threw multicolored pamphlets in the air before lighting himself on fire.

It took several mins for officers to rush to the scene. A detective who was early to arrive tried to smother the man — who had collapsed — w/his coat to extinguish the flames. Soon, officers swarmed the scene & used a fire extinguisher.

The man was still moving as officers knelt beside him & asked his name. He was loaded into an ambulance & taken away.

Nonilex, avatar

A high-ranking PoliceDept ofcl identified the man as , 37, of St. Augustine, Florida. Mr. Azzarello had appeared outside the courthouse on Thurs w/a sign displaying the address of a website where the same pamphlets were uploaded. The top post of the website says, “I have set myself on fire outside the .”

The pamphlets he threw into the air & published online before the incident espoused AntiGovernment .

Nonilex, avatar

In an interview that day, he said his critical views of the American govt were shaped by his research into , the techn billionaire & political provocateur who is a major campaign donor.

said he had planned to protest at Washington Square Park near NYU but thought that w/the cold weather, more people would be outside the courthouse.

Nonilex, avatar

“Trump’s in on it,” said on Thurs. “It’s a secret kleptocracy, & it can only lead to an apocalyptic fascist coup.”

People who witnessed the fire said they were in disbelief as they saw Azzarello, who was in an area of the park reserved for supporters of , toss the pamphlets into the air & then flames shoot toward the sky. Azzarello, who was wearing jeans & dark gray T-shirt, fell to the ground amid the fire.

Nonilex, avatar

Some of the pamphlets referred to NYU as a “mob front” & also mentioned fmr Pres George W. Bush, fmr VP Al Gore & the lawyer David Boies, who represented Gore in the 2000 recount. Another pamphlet contained anti-govt conspiracy theories, though did not point in a discernible political direction.

Al Baker, a spox for the court, said the schedule would not be affected, though one court officer was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

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