NEW YORK (NBC News) — A man was taken into custody at New York City’s famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday night while carrying two gas cans, three senior New York law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the matter told NBC News.
There was no fire and the officials characterized the man as being emotionally disturbed. At least one of the cans contained gasoline, the officials told NBC News.
The Archdiocese of New York said in a statement that “the individual was stopped as he tried to come into the cathedral,” and he was turned over to police.
“Nothing happened inside the cathedral,” the Archdiocese said in the statement.
But the incident comes just days after the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned in what officials in France say they think could be an accident related to renovation work.
There was a large police and fire department presence at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, which is in Midtown.
The cornerstone of the iconic building in Midtown was laid in 1858 and it formally opened on May 25, 1879, according to the cathedral’s website. Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to celebrate Mass there in 2008.
It underwent renovations since then, including a nearly $200 million restoration that was announced in 2015, and which was finished a year later, NBC New York reported.
The NYPD maintains a robust security presence at the Cathedral at all times.