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What to Know

  • The man arrested with gas cans and lighters at St. Patrick's Cathedral had booked a flight to Italy earlier that morning, police say [hhmc]

  • Marc Lamparello, 37, also had a run-in with NJ officers two days before; cops say he refused to leave a cathedral after it was closed[hhmc]

  • Lamparello faces resisting arrest and other charges in the NJ case; he was charged with attempted arson and other crimes in the NYC one[hhmc]

The PhD candidate who was arrested after law enforcement confrontations at churches in two states in a matter of days, including at New York City's iconic St. Patrick's Cathedral, is expected to face a judge Friday, authorities say.

Marc Lamparello, 37, was arrested on attempted arson and other charges after allegedly trying to walk into St. Patrick's Wednesday night with two gasoline cans and lighter fluid. He had booked a one-way $2,800 flight to Italy for Thursday, police said. Lamparello was also arrested days earlier at a New Jersey church, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation tell News 4.

Authorities are still looking into his possible intentions regarding St. Patrick's; he had told police his minivan, parked nearby, was out of gas but that allegedly wasn't the case — and he was evasive when asked questions by police.

Investigators initially said Lamparello may have been emotionally disturbed. John Miller, the NYPD's deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, described him as being "known to police."

Man Charged After Arrest at St. Patrick's

[NY] Man Charged After Arrest at St. Patrick's

Two days before the St. Patrick's incident, sources say Lamparello had a confrontation with police after refusing to leave the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey. When an officer told him it was closed, Lamparello said, "If you want me to leave tonight, you're gonna have to handcuff me and arrest me tonight and take me to jail," law enforcement sources tell News 4. He still didn't leave.

Other officers arrived, at which point Lamparello threw himself onto a pew and yelled, "No!" then scuffled with police who tried to apprehend him, sources say.

As he was being taken out of the cathedral, Lamparello told police he wasn't leaving. "God wants me to be here. I know all the sins the priests have committed," he said, according to law enforcement sources.

Eventually he was handcuffed and taken to police headquarters to be booked on charges of defiant trespassing, obstruction and resisting arrest.

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Officials say they called in EMS to do an evaluation because Lamparello wasn't exhibiting rational behavior at the time; they found nothing wrong with him. Then the man's mother showed up, said he had an apartment in Manhattan and said she was taking him to her home in Hasbrouck Heights. The van allegedly involved in the St. Patrick's case was parked outside the New Jersey cathedral, but it was never searched because investigators had no reason to do so.

Lamparello now faces charges of attempted arson, reckless endangerment, and trespassing in the St. Patrick's incident in addition to the New Jersey charges. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney. He has no prior criminal history of note.

Man Charged After Arrest at St. Patrick's

[NY] Man Charged After Arrest at St. Patrick's

No one was hurt in either case, but some gasoline did spill on the floor of St. Patrick's as Lamparello was leaving; he had been stopped by a security guard.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Thursday said the incident "in a way, as scary as it is, shows that our security is working."

"Now, I hope [Lamparello] is getting mental care, because I think he's emotionally disturbed," he said.

Heightened security at St. Patrick's is normal, but the NYPD has ramped up its efforts at the cathedral since the fire that tore throughRead More – Source

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NBC

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