Man sets himself on fire outside court during Trump trial

Opponents and supporters of Trump are allowed to gather for demonstrations in the park, but so far only a few have done so on the days of the trial.

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man set himself on fire in a park opposite the courthouse in New York during the ongoing criminal trial of former president Donald Trump, according to U.S. media reports.

The man, Maxwell Azzarello, poured a liquid over himself and set himself alight, unanimous reports from various media outlets, including the New York Times and CNN revealed.

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Bystanders had screamed and tried to help, the reports said.

 

Man sets himself on fire outside court during Trump trial, Maxwell Azzarello
Maxwell Azzarello

Mr Azzarello, in his mid-30s, from St Augustine in Florida, threw conspiracy theory pamphlets in the air before setting himself alight in a designated protest area for pro and anti-Trump demonstrators on Friday.

Police said he entered Collect Pond Park, across the street from the court, at around 1:30pm, local time.

He took a canister out of his bag containing what is believed to have been an alcohol-based accelerant, before dousing himself in the fluid and setting himself ablaze, police said.

Officers and civilians ran into the protest area and tried to put out the flames using coats and fire extinguishers.

New York City fire commissioner Laura Kavanagh told reporters that Azzarello was taken to the burns unit at Weill Cornell Medical Centre, where he had been described as alive but in critical condition.

Four NYPD police officers suffered minor injuries from fire exposure, authorities said

After a short time, police officers arrived and extinguished the flames.

The man was then carried into an ambulance and driven away.

It was initially unclear why he set himself on fire.

The incident took place in Collect Pond Park, directly opposite the courthouse where the criminal trial of Trump is currently taking place.

The courthouse is extensively cordoned off and numerous police officers are on permanent duty there.

Dozens of media representatives with cameras and broadcast vans are gathered around it.

Opponents and supporters of Trump are allowed to gather for demonstrations in the park, but so far only a few have done so on the days of the trial.

The grounds are surrounded by barricades, but there are also open entrances.