A potential Notre Dame copycat was arrested Wednesday night after walking into St. Patrick's Cathedral with four gallons of gasoline, lighter fluid, and lighters, police say. Authorities say 37-year-old New Jersey resident Marc Lamparello was confronted by a security officer as he tried to enter the building carrying two red gas cans, the New York Daily News reports. NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller says some gasoline was "apparently spilled on the floor" as Lamparello was turned around. Counterterrorism officers stopped him as he walked down Fifth Avenue. Miller says the suspect claimed his vehicle had run out of gas and he was taking a shortcut through the cathedral, but police found his vehicle "was not out of gas."
Miller says the suspect, who has not been charged with a crime yet, is "known to police," the New York Times reports. The cathedral was undamaged, but there was a heavy police presence there Wednesday night. The arrest came two days after a fire devastated the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. "It’s hard exactly to say what his intentions were. But I think the totality of circumstances, of an individual walking into an iconic location like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid, and lighters, is something that we would have great concern over," Miller says, per CNN. (Read more New York City stories.)