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NYPD charges professor with attempted arson of St. Patrick's Cathedral

By
Darryl Coote
Marc Lamparello was also arrested this week for failing to leave a New Jersey cathedral. Photo courtesy New York Police Department/Twitter
Marc Lamparello was also arrested this week for failing to leave a New Jersey cathedral. Photo courtesy New York Police Department/Twitter

April 19 (UPI) -- A part-time philosophy professor has been charged with attempted arson after police say he entered an iconic New York City cathedral with multiple cans of gasoline this week.

On Thursday, Marc Lamparello, a 37-year-old New Jersey man and a professor at the City University of New York, was also charged with reckless endangerment and trespassing. He was arrested Wednesday after he attempted to enter St. Patrick's Cathedral carrying two 2-gallon cans of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters.

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Church security escorted him from the building and he told police he tried to cut through the church from Madison Avenue with gasoline for his car. However, police said his vehicle already had fuel and Lamparello was arrested.

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Lamparello was also arrested on Monday for refusing to leave Newark's Sacred Heart Cathedral, saying it was a house of God and should never close. He was charged with resisting arrest, defiant trespassing and interfering with the administration of law, the New York Times reported.

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NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said Wednesday night Lamparello's motive for entering St. Patrick's Cathedral was unclear.

Following news of the incident, Lehman College said it was working to terminate his contract, WABC-TV reported.

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"We are aware that an individual was arrested last night after an incident at St. Patrick's Cathedral," Lehman College spokeswoman Sarah Ramsey said in a statement. "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 that individual's employment with the college."

Lamparello is also listed as a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the City University of New York.

Police said he was transferred Thursday to Bellevue Hospital Center for psychiatric evaluation.

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