The New York City Police Department on Wednesday evening arrested a man who walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral with lighters and two gas cans an, one of which held gasoline. Officials said there was no fire but the man was emotionally disturbed, NBC News reported.
Around 7:55pm, a man walked into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan with gas cans and lighter fluid, and was subsequently apprehended by @NYPDCT without incident. We thank our partners for their help, and remember - if you see something, say something. pic.twitter.com/qEbmklnqzQ— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 18, 2019
"His basic story was that he was cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue, that his car had run out of gas," NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller told ABC 7. "We took a look at the vehicle, it was not out of gas and at that point he was taken into custody and brought to the Midtown North station house."
"...the individual was stopped as he tried to come into the cathedral," The Archdiocese of New York said in a statement. "Nothing happened inside the cathedral."
According to Miller, police know who the man is. A heavy police presence remains outside the cathedral in New York City's Midtown. Investigators are currently looking into the incident but have yet to call it terrorism, Fox News reported.
The construction on St. Patrick's Cathedral began in 1858 and was formerly opened to the public in May of 1879. It underwent a $200 million renovation in 2015, including a sprinkler-like system and its wooden roof is coated with fire retardant, USA Today reported.
The threat comes days after the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was burned. Officials believe that fire started as a result of renovation work currently taking place.