Police: NYC cathedral defendant had booked a flight to Italy

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

NEW YORK – A man arrested after entering St. Patrick’s Cathedral, carrying two cans of gas, lighter fluid and butane lighters had also been arrested in New Jersey cathedral this week and was booked Thursday on a 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 evening in the New York City monument, said John Miller, the New York Police Department deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism . It happened a few days after the flames destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Lamparello continued in the police Thursday and was not indicted. Miller said that there is no clear connection to terrorism.

It was not immediately clear whether Lamparello had a lawyer who could speak for him. A man leaves his parents ‘ house in New Jersey on Thursday, had no comment for a reporter when asked about Lamparello.

Miller said surveillance camera footage showed Lamparello circling the church several times in a minivan more than an hour before he parked outside the cathedral on Fifth Avenue, a walk around the area, back to his car and took out the gasoline and lighter fluid.

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

The officials of his vehicle and determined it was not out of gas, says Miller.

Lamparello was arrested Monday at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey, after he refused to leave at closing time, says Miller.

Maria Margiotta, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Newark, declined to comment on the specifics of Monday’s arrest, citing the ongoing police investigation. Our “safety is vigilant and ensures a safe environment for all those who visit,” she said.

Before going into St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday, Miller said Lamparello booked a $2,800 ticket at 5:20 pm Thursday flight to Italy.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral was built in 1878 and has a sprinkler system during the recent renovation. The wooden roof is covered with fire retardant.


Porter reported from New Jersey. Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner and writer Deepti Hajela contributed to this report.

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