Man arrested for torching Christmas tree outside of Fox News HQ

Man arrested for torching Christmas tree outside of Fox News HQ
·2 min read

A man has been arrested and charged after the Christmas tree outside the headquarters of Fox News in New York City was burnt down.

Witness videos show thick smoke emanating from the tree early on Wednesday. Police say that a man was arrested close to the tree sometime after midnight after allegedly setting it ablaze, NBC New York reported.

A spokesperson for the New York Police Department said a 49-year-old man has been taken into custody, but didn’t say what was used to set fire to the tree. A light was removed from the suspect, but it remains unclear if it was used in the suspected arson.

The suspect, Craig Tamanaha, was seen by Fox News security personnel as he climbed the tree, police said. He ran when approached by officers but was later apprehended.

Mr Tamanaha has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, criminal trespass, criminal tampering, and disorderly conduct, police said.

Law enforcement added that the man appeared to have been acting alone and that the fire didn’t seem to be planned or motivated by politics. No injuries have been reported.

A worker disassembles the Fox Christmas tree (AP)
A worker disassembles the Fox Christmas tree (AP)

The Christmas tree outside the News Corporation building had 10,000 glass ornaments, 100,000 lights, and took around 21 hours to put up, according to Fox News. The building also houses the offices of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott wrote in an internal memo that “this has become a new wonderful tradition on FOX Square over the last three years. We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us”.

“We are in the process of building and installing a new tree as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment like this,” she added.

The Fox News building is located near the Diamond District in Manhattan’s Midtown, south of Central Park.

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