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Tourists walk past police officers standing in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Thursday, April 18, 2019. A New Jersey man was arrested after entering the cathedral carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, the New York Police Department said, just days after flames ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK – A college philosophy teacher arrested after entering St. Patrick's Cathedral carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters had also been arrested at a New Jersey cathedral this week and had booked a Thursday flight to Rome, the New York Police Department said.

Marc Lamparello, 37, is facing charges including attempted arson and reckless endangerment after his arrest Wednesday night at the New York City landmark, said John Miller, the New York Police Department's deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism.

It happened just days after Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was ravaged by a fire that investigators said Thursday was most likely electrical. Miller would not discuss anything Lamparello told investigators after his arrest but stressed that there "doesn't appear to be any connection to any terrorist group or any terrorist-related intent here."

Before going to St. Patrick's on Wednesday, Miller said, Lamparello booked a $2,800 ticket on a 5:20 p.m. Thursday flight to Italy. He didn't speculate on Lamparello's motivations for planning the trip.
Lamparello remained in police custody Thursday and had not been arraigned.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Lamparello had a lawyer who could speak for him. A man leaving his parents' house Thursday in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, close to New York City, had no comment for a reporter when asked about Lamparello.

Lamparello "wasn't weird," said a neighbor, Salvatore Altomare, adding that he "seemed like ... a nice guy, walked a straight line."

Altomare described the family as "very good people. ... They're real Americans — try to do the right thing."

Two nights before his arrest in New York, police in Newark arrested Lamparello after he wouldn't leave the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart at closing time after a late Mass. Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said Thursday that Lamparello was calm and respectful to the officers but was adamant about not leaving.

"He said, 'This is a house of god, it should be open, I'm not leaving. You'll have to lock me up,'" Fontoura said.

After he was charged with three minor offenses including defiant trespass, emergency medical services personnel examined Lamparello and determined he wasn't a threat. Lamparello's mother arrived and the two drove back to Hasbrouck Heights in his van, according to Fontoura.

"There was no reason to check the van at that point," he said.

Lamparello is a philosophy instructor who has taught at New York City's Lehman and Brooklyn colleges and Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Lehman's website listed him as a Ph.D. candidate at the City University of New York's Graduate Center.

In a statement, Lehman College spokesperson Sarah Ramsey said, "We are aware that an individual was arrested last night after an incident at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The individual was hired at Lehman College during this academic year, and was a part-time, online instructor this semester. We are taking the appropriate steps to terminate the individual's employment with the college."

A page on describes Lamparello's 2016 book, "Reason and Counterpoint," as offering "ambitious and highly creative answers to some of the most vexing philosophical questions, while also using skepticism to question some of the most basic assumptions at the heart of philosophical method and inquiry."

Miller said surveillance camera footage showed Lamparello circling St. Patrick's several times in a minivan well over an hour before he parked outside the cathedral on Fifth Avenue, walked around the area, returned to his vehicle, and retrieved the gasoline and lighter fluid.

When he entered the church, he was confronted by a security officer, who notified counterterrorism officers standing outside. Lamparello told the officers his car was out of gas and headed in a direction away from where he was parked, Miller said.

Officers found his vehicle and determined it was not out of gas, Miller said.
David Porter reported from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner and writer Deepti Hajela contributed to this report.

Sad it never ends. Pray...

Link to Article
Yeah, sure! I always use a couple of bottles of charcoal lighting fluid and a couple of long lighters when the car runs out of gas!

From LifeSiteNews

NEW YORK CITY, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Police arrested a 37-year-old New Jersey man Wednesday evening after attempting to carry gasoline canisters into New York’s historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Marc Lamparello entered the church with four gallons of gasoline, lighter fluid, and lighters around 8 PM, the New York Post reports. He turned around to leave to avoid church security, but in doing so spilled some gasoline, which guards noticed and quickly notified the police stationed outside about.

Police say surveillance video shows Lamarello parking outside the church around 6:30 PM, loitering for approximately an hour before removing from his van two gas cans and a bag containing two bottles of lighter fluid and two barbecue lighters. He entered the church a half-hour later. The New York Daily News adds that he had a one-way ticket for Rome, scheduled to leave Thursday.

View image on Twitter

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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.

10:08 PM - Apr 17, 2019 · St. Patrick's Cathedral

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Lamparello reportedly claimed he was merely cutting through the church as a shortcut to reach and refuel his van. But while NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said he was “conversational” and “cooperative” when interrogated, his “answers were inconsistent and evasive.”

“I think the totality of circumstances of [an] individual walking into an iconic location like St. Patrick’s Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters is something that we would have great concern over,” Miller said. “His story is not consistent, so he’s having conversations with the detectives right now. I think if you add to that the events at the iconic location of the fire in Notre Dame this week and all the publicity around that,” it’s “very suspicious.”

This isn’t Lamparello’s first run-in with the authorities; he was previously arrested twice in New Jersey – once for public drunkenness, and once for criminal trespass at Newark, New Jersey’s Sacred Heart Cathedral just three days before his St. Patrick’s arrest.

A motive is unclear at this point; Lamparello is a philosophy professor who has taught at Lehman College and Brooklyn College, comes from a Catholic family, and even served as musical director for St. Joseph’s parish in East Rutherord, New Jersey. notes that he’s also an author who had among his current projects a “witty dialogue on arguments for and against the existence of God.”

“Extremely out of character,” his father said. "He’s a brilliant professor. His writings -- other professors can’t even understand his writings. Something happened, we don’t know.”

The incident comes as Catholic churches around the world are on high alert following a fire that heavily damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.
Here's a pic of the items he was in possession of compliments of the ny post (url host).

Edit: Per Jovan taken by NYPD

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Actually the photo is from the tweet the NYPD posted after his arrest.