Watch CBS News

Judge: St. Patrick's Cathedral Attempted Arson Suspect To Be Committed To Mental Health Facility

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Prosecutors say the college philosophy teacher charged with plotting to burn down St. Patrick's Cathedral is not mentally fit for trial.

Judge Neil Ross of Manhattan Supreme Court said Thursday he plans to commit Marc Lamparello to a mental health facility for rehabilitation.

The results of Lamparello's court-ordered psychiatric evaluation will postpone his case indefinitely.

Lamparello's defense attorney told CBS2 he suffers from schizophrenia, and was found unfit during a psychological evaluation after his arrest.

The Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, man was arrested after police said he took gas cans and lighters into the landmark church.

Authorities say the New Jersey man was spotted in the foyer of the church on April 17 behaving strangely and spilling gas, just days after the Notre Dame fire in Paris.

Lamparello told police he wanted to cut through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue because his vehicle had run out of gas. When police went to check on his minivan, they found the car was not on Madison Avenue, but on Fifth Avenue near the church.

A few days before the incident, Lamparello was also arrested at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark for allegedly refusing to leave after closing time. That was the day Notre Dame went up in flames. Police say he didn't reference the Paris cathedral at the time.

Lamparello has pleaded not guilty to attempted arson and reckless endangerment.

Defense attorney Chris DiLorenzo has attributed the St. Patrick's incident to a psychotic episode.

He tells The Associated Press that Lamparello has undergone mental health treatment for years.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.