One scrooge almost ruined the holiday season when they burned down a 50-foot Christmas tree in New York City.
The tree was located on Sixth Avenue, in the square where Fox News, The New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal are located. The tree, which took 21 hours to assemble, contained more than ten thousand glass ornaments and over one hundred thousand lights.
The attack on Christmas came in the early hours of Wednesday morning around 12:15 AM EST. The fire quickly attracted the attention of security guards who called the fire department.
No one was injured in the blaze, and firefighters were able to get the blaze under control, which had spread to nearby decorations surrounding the tree.
Police believe that the fire was started deliberately as an act of arson, but officials state they already have a suspect in custody.
Police Arrest Suspect, Not Actually The Grinch
— Leonardo Puglisi (@Leo_Puglisi6) December 8, 2021
Police were able to arrest the suspect, Craig Tamanaha, 49, when he stayed at the scene to watch the tree burn. Security guards were able to identify the man to police, who placed him under arrest without further incident.
According to local officials, Tamanaha climbed up “the metal superstructure” with papers that he brought with him. He then lit those papers on fire and stuffed them into the tree structure. It should be noted that the tree itself is not an actual tree, but an artificial structure meant to resemble a tree.
He then climbed down and watched as the tree burned. He was spotted by security guards, who pointed the man out to police officers located in Rockefeller Center. Police found a lighter in the suspect’s possession.
Motive Unknown, Mental Illness May Be A Factor
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) December 8, 2021
Tamanaha is homeless, with a last known address located in Brooklyn. He has three prior arrests: two for drug possession and one for public intoxication. He has been charged with “criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering, and disorderly conduct.”
Although the motive is still unclear, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said that officials believe that Tamanaha acted alone and are considering mental illness as a factor in the arson.
“The motive I don’t think is clear at this point,” he explained. “It’s an individual that is known to us. He has a series of low-level arrests and drug arrests. He was issued earlier this year some appearance tickets and didn’t come back to court, which unfortunately is something we see all too often. Also has some low-level arrests out of state.”
Many bystanders had taken videos of the Christmas tree burning, which resulted in #FoxNews trending early Wednesday morning. Others used the hashtag #WarOnChristmas and some even ventured that the motive behind the attack was political in nature.
Fox says that it plans to rebuild the Christmas tree for the holiday, which is only three weeks away.
— JSWilliams1962 (@jswtreeman) December 8, 2021