A man was arrested yesterday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City for apparently attempting to start a fire.
He had attempted to take several containers of gasoline and lighter fluid into the century-old church with a lighter, but was apprehended by security and turned over to police, according to Catholic News Agency. He also had a car nearby to quickly escape and had recently purchased a one-way airplane ticket set to depart today.
The man was identified by NYPD as Marc Lamparello, a Ph.D. student at City University of New York. He has been arrested previously for criminal trespass and public drunkenness.
Lamparello graduated from Boston College, a Jesuit school, in 2004. Since then, he has been a philosophy instructor at several universities, including Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Seton Hall is a diocesean Catholic school administered by the Archdiocese of Newark. He previously worked as a music director for a Catholic parish in New Jersey.
“Thank you to @NYPDnews for the swift response,” NYC mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted in response to the arrest. “We are all focused on keeping our congregations and houses of worship safe as they celebrate this Holy Week.”