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Man charged with trying to burn down New York cathedral not fit for trial

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May 15 (UPI) — The man accused of taking gasoline and a lighter into a New York City cathedral was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

Mental health experts made the conclusion for Marc Lamparello, 37. He will remain remain at Bellevue Hospital Center’s prison ward pending a court hearing.

“I’m not surprised by the conclusion, given my interaction with my client and the recent events,” Lamparello’s attorney Christopher DiLorenzo said.

He cited a police report from December in which Lamparello claimed he was being stalked by plainclothes officers.

Lamparello is accused of carrying a gasoline can, lighter fluid and butane lighters into St. Patrick’s Cathedral just days after the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris in April. The same man was spotted at another Catholic church in Newark days before. Police confronted him there after he refused to leave. He was arrested.

At St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a man carrying gasoline was spotted by security at the church and police responded.

When questioned, Lamparello said his minivan had run out of gas and he was cutting through the cathedral to get back to Madison Avenue. Police later determined the vehicle was not out of gas and that Lamparello had a one-way plane ticket to Rome from Newark Liberty International Airport the next day.

Lamparello was a professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He emailed his employer to say he was taking a sick day on April 17, the Seton Hall student newspaper The Setonian reported.

He is scheduled for arraignment on June 7.

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