Early Wednesday, authorities arrested a man they say is responsible for setting the Christmas tree on fire outside of the Fox News building in New York City.
According to ABC News, the 49-year-old suspect has been identified as Craig Tamanaha. Authorities say the 50-foot tree burst into flames just before 12:30 am and spread to smaller trees that were also included in the Christmas display. The suspect, who is believed to be homeless, reportedly climbed the metal superstructure, and lit papers that he had with him, and shoved it into the tree structure.
It’s reported, that he then climbed down and watched as the tree burned before he was taken in by authorities.
Craig has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering, and disorderly conduct.
The motive behind the incident is unclear at the moment. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said that detectives are looking into whether mental illness may have played a role. He said, “The motive I don’t think is clear at this point. It’s an individual that is known to us. He has a series of low-level arrests and drug arrest. He was issued earlier this year some appearance tickets and didn’t come back to court, which unfortunately is something we see all too often. Also has some low-level arrests out of state.”
The area where the tree was set ablaze is not only used to house Fox News, but also the Wall Street Journal and New York Post.
The tree had 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights and took more than 21 hours to put together.
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TSR STAFF: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94