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Video/Pic: Man sets himself on fire outside Trump trial in NYC

An ambulance. (Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime/TNS)
April 19, 2024

A man was recorded Friday afternoon on live television setting himself on fire near the Manhattan Criminal Court as jury selection was wrapping up in former president Donald Trump’s criminal case over hush-money payment allegations.

Law enforcement sources confirmed to The New York Post that a man had set himself on fire outside the Manhattan Criminal Court around 1:30 p.m. According to The New York Post, the man, who was identified by police sources as a 20-year-old and possibly a homeless individual, set himself on fire in a barricaded park located across the street from the Manhattan Criminal Court on 100 Centre Street.

The New York Post reported that the fire incident occurred just as the court was finishing jury selection in the former president’s criminal trial in New York City.

A graphic video of Friday’s incident showed the man surrounded by flames while seated in the park. The man was also recorded twitching on the ground as the fire engulfed his body. Law enforcement officials quickly rushed over to the man with fire extinguishers and put out the fire.

The New York Post reported that one police officer was overheard approximately 20 minutes after the incident, saying, “Somebody set themselves on fire.”

Reporter Nick Sortor shared a picture of the man surrounded in flames while being recorded on live television. “This was caught on LIVE TV,” Sortor tweeted. “Why do people keep doing this?!”

According to The New York Post, law enforcement officials have not yet revealed what the man used to start the fire. While the man was transported to a local hospital by first responders, his condition currently remains unknown.

Sources told The New York Post that the man had been sitting on a bench in the park before suddenly throwing his possessions on the ground, soaking himself in an unidentified substance, and quickly setting himself on fire.

READ MORE: Graphic Video: US Airman dies after setting himself on fire in anti-Israel protest

One eyewitness of the incident told The New York Post, “I heard this clattering and it was these papers that he had flung up and they clattered to the ground. “Then he pulled out a can and he poured it over himself. At that point, I thought, ‘Oh this could be awful.'”

The eyewitness added, “And after pouring himself with obviously something flammable he took out, I think, a lighter then he lit himself on fire.”

Police sources told ABC 7 that the man’s motivation for lighting himself on fire has not been determined and that law enforcement officials are working to determine whether the fire was related to the ongoing Trump trial.