A man was charged after allegedly setting a huge Christmas tree outside the News Corp. building in New York City on fire early Wednesday, the NYPD said. The building is home to Fox News Channel, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.
Police said Fox News security spotted 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha climbing the tree outside their office on West 48th Street and Sixth Avenue just after midnight. When officers arrived, Tamanaha ran away but was later taken into custody and arrested.
Tamanaha was charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct, police said.
Police said a lighter was taken from Tamanaha and it's unclear if any accelerant was used in the fire. The cause will be determined by the New York City Fire Marshall.
Videos on social media showed the 50-foot tree engulfed in flames in Manhattan and its charred remains. The fire within the tree was extinguished and no one was injured. Plans to rebuild it are already underway.
CBS New York obtained an internal memo from Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, who said in statement they "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," Scott said.
The "All-American" Christmas tree at Fox Square was lit up Sunday. It was filled with 10,000 glass ornaments, 100,000 lights and took more than 21 hours to assemble, according to Fox News.
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