[Fox News] Man who set himself on fire near NYC courthouse holding Trump trial pronounced dead

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The man who set himself on fire outside the New York City courthouse where former President Trump’s hush money trial was being held has been pronounced dead, according to officials.

Maxwell Azzarello, 37, of St. Augustine, Florida, died Friday night from his severe burns after lighting himself on fire earlier in the day inside Collect Pond Park near the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse.

Azzarello was pronounced dead at about 10:30 p.m., police said, according to the New York Post.

At around 1:30 p.m., Azzarello looked through his backpack and threw numerous pamphlets in the air, before he poured accelerant on his body and ignited a lighter in front of witnesses. The pamphlets, which included a link to a Substack page, were “propaganda-based” and promoted far-reaching conspiracy theories such as that “some of our educational institutions are a front for the mob,” officials said.

FLORIDA MAN SET HIMSELF ON FIRE NEAR NYC COURTHOUSE HOLDING TRUMP TRIAL

After he was engulfed in flames, Azzarello took a few steps and fell onto a police barrier and to the ground. Court officers, police officers and other witnesses attempted to extinguish the flames with coats and other items. The fire was eventually extinguished by responding police.

Azzarello was transported to a burn center in critical condition. Four officers also suffered minor injuries from exposure to the fire.

The self-described investigative researcher arrived in New York City earlier in the week and began protesting in front of the courthouse, criticizing both Republican and Democrat politicians. His family was unaware he had traveled to the city.

A police official said Friday afternoon that it “appears he did post something about this event online prior to the incident.”

“This extreme act of protest is to draw attention to an urgent and important discovery: We are victims of a totalitarian con, and our own government (along with many of their allies) is about to hit us with an apocalyptic fascist world coup,” Azzarello wrote in a manifesto on the Substack page.

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The park was open to the public at the time of the incident and Azzarello did not breach any security protocols, police said.

Azzarello had three prior arrests across several days in Florida in August of last year, including for disturbing the peace and damage to property.

His behavior leading to the arrests allegedly included tossing a glass of wine at former President Bill Clinton’s autograph on a wall protected by a frame inside the lobby of a hotel and, just two days later, stripping down to his boxers and yelling at customers at the same hotel.

After his third arrest, Florida police said Azzarello was suicidal.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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