Man Who Self-Immolated Outside Trump Trial Dies

He's been IDed as 37-year-old Max Azzarello
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 20, 2024 6:30 AM CDT
Man Who Lit Himself on Fire Outside Trump Trial Dies
White fire extinguisher residue marks the spot in Collect Pond Park where a man lit himself on fire outside Manhattan criminal court on Friday in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A man who doused himself in an accelerant and set himself on fire outside the courthouse where former President Trump is on trial has died, police said. The NYPD told the AP early Saturday that the man was declared dead by staff at an area hospital. The man—IDed by police as 37-year-old Max Azzarello, per PIX11 News—was in Collect Pond Park around 1:30pm ET Friday when he took out pamphlets espousing conspiracy theories, tossed them around, then doused himself in an accelerant and set himself on fire, officials and witnesses said. A large number of police officers were nearby when it happened. Some officers and bystanders rushed to the aid of Azzarello, who was hospitalized in critical condition at the time.

Azzarello, who police said recently traveled from Florida to New York, hadn't breached any security checkpoints to access the park. The park outside the courthouse has been a gathering spot for protesters, journalists, and gawkers throughout Trump's trial, which began with jury selection Monday. Through Friday, the streets and sidewalks in the area around the courthouse were generally wide open, and crowds have been small and largely orderly. Authorities said they are also reviewing the security protocols, including whether to restrict access to the park. The side street where Trump enters and leaves the building is off limits. "We may have to shut this area down," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said at a news conference outside the courthouse Friday, adding that officials would discuss the security plan soon.

(More self-immolation stories.)

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