Fox News Christmas tree in NY set on fire, man now in custody
The huge Christmas tree outside the Fox News headquarters was set on fire at early Wednesday. New York City responders came to rescue and put out the fire in midtown Manhattan.
Witnesses of the incident uploaded videos at the Citizen App. The videos show thick black smog from the Christmas tree. Though the police reported someone allegedly lit the tree on fire. The Fox News Christmas tree was located at West 48th Street and 6th Avenue. An employee of News 4 saw how the NYPD officers arrested the suspect that was near the tree after midnight.
Though the Christmas tree was completely gone this Thursday morning, it will be fixed, built back, and re-lit by the evening.
In addition, this holiday tradition was only in its third year of being on the site. It was a 50-foot Christmas tree and has only been up for three days. However, it was set on fire on Wednesday after midnight.
An NYC police department spokesperson confirmed that a 49-year-old man, Craig Tamanaha was in their custody.
Even if there aren’t any reported injuries around the incident, charges are pressed against him. Police confirmed the man did it alone and there’s no evidence that it’s politically inclined.
According to police reports, he climbed up and placed newspapers in the open spaces of the Christmas tree. Then he set them on fire with a lighter.
He is now facing charges of reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal tampering, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.
As per records, Tamahana has had three arrests before. One for public intoxication and two for drug possession. Investigator says he might have tried to set the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree first. Which was just a few blocks away from the burned Christmas tree.
Charged with supervised release, Tamahana should report to a person who then will report back to the court this Thursday.
Police commissioner Dermot Shea said investigators are inspecting whether drugs or mental illness are factors.
Shea said, “The motive I don’t think is clear at this point. It’s an individual that we know. He has a series of low-level arrests and drug arrests. He has some appearance tickets this year and didn’t come back to court. Which unfortunately is something we all see too often. Also has some Leo level arrests out of state.”
Bystanders at that time were in disbelief. A tourist saw the incident and said, “I’m looking at the burnt trees. My husband is a big Fox News fan. I told them if we’re in the area we’ll get our picture taken in front of the tree. And there’s no tree.”
The burnt Christmas tree will be re-lit at 5 pm with Cardinal Dolan’s attendance.