Man sets himself on fire outside Trump's hush money trial

New York, New York - An unidentified man set himself on fire outside the Manhattan courthouse where former President Donald Trump was attending day four of his hush money trial.

On Friday, an unidentified man lit himself on fire outside the courthouse where Donald Trump was attending the fourth day of his hush money trial.
On Friday, an unidentified man lit himself on fire outside the courthouse where Donald Trump was attending the fourth day of his hush money trial.  © POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

According to The New York Post, the disturbing scene unfolded around 1:30 PM on Friday in at Collect Pond Park, a courtyard located directly across the street from the New York County Criminal Court building.

A senior law enforcement official told CNN that the man entered the park and began throwing flyers into the air before pulling something from his backpack to start the fire.

Video of the incident shows the man seated on the ground as the flames engulfed him before eventually slumping over.

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Responders rushed over to extinguish the flames, and the man was quickly rushed to the nearest hospital.

The park is being used as a common area for activists, with barricades being used to divide the park into two sections – one for pro-Trump protesters and another for anti-Trump protesters.

New York Police Department officials are expected to give an update soon to the media on the situation.

It is currently unclear exactly how the man started the fire, or what his intentions were.

UPDATE, 4:30 PM ET: Police identify man who self-immolated outside Trump trial

New York police have identified the man who self-immolated as Maxwell Azzarello, a native of St. Augustine, Florida.
New York police have identified the man who self-immolated as Maxwell Azzarello, a native of St. Augustine, Florida.  © SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

New York police have identified the man as Maxwell Azzarello, a native of St. Augustine, Florida.

"[They were] almost like a conspiracy theory type of pamphlet, some information in regards to Ponzi schemes, and the fact that some of our local educational institutes are a front for the mob," NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said, per AFP.

Kenny confirmed Azzarello has survived but is in critical condition.

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Four officers suffered minor injuries at the scene.

According to Deputy Police Commissioner Tarik Sheppard, authorities have branded him "a sort of conspiracy theorist" and have not confirmed whether or not his motive was connected to the former president's trial.

Cover photo: POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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