WATCH: Man self-immolates outside NYC court where Donald Trump faces hush money trial

A shocking incident took place outside the lower Manhattan courthouse during the ongoing trial of former US President Donald Trump for a hush money case, where a man set himself on fire in protest. The dramatic event occurred in Collect Pond Park, designated as a protest area, across the street from the courthouse, around 1:30 pm on Friday (local time). The protestor was identified as Maxwell Azzarello, according to a report in NBC New York.

The man, identified as Maxwell Azzarello, succumbed to his injuries on Friday night. Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal
The man succumbed to his injuries on Friday night. Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal

“At the park on Thursday, Mr. Azzarello had held up various signs and at one point shouted toward a group of reporters gathered there, ‘Biggest scoop of your life or your money back!’ One of his signs claimed that Mr. Trump and President Biden were ‘about to fascist coup us.’,” a report from The New York Times read.

The New York Post said that Azzarello was ‘armed with conspiracy theory propaganda flyers’. He succumbed to his injuries on Friday night.

A terrifying video of the self-immolation incident has surfaced on the internet in which one can see Azzarello pouring a liquid on himself from a canister, later he places the canister aside and takes out a lighter. Within seconds, he sets himself ablaze, leaving the person recording him in complete shock. Azzarello’s body can be seen completely covered in the fire in the horrifying visuals.

Eyewitnesses and NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey provided chilling details of the incident to local news outlets. Azzarello, after entering the park, began distributing pamphlets before proceeding to douse himself with a liquid accelerant from a canister retrieved from his backpack.

The swift response of the NYPD, already on high alert due to the trial’s high-profile nature, saw officers attempting to extinguish the flames with fire extinguishers and jackets. However, their initial efforts were unsuccessful, prompting the arrival of additional support from the FDNY. Eventually, the fire was brought under control, but not before leaving a haze of smoke outside the courthouse, with shocked bystanders and journalists bearing witness to the harrowing scene.

(The article is published under a mutual content partnership arrangement between The Free Press Journal and Connected to India)