A homeless man was arrested on Wednesday after police said he set a Christmas tree outside of the Fox News headquarters in New York on fire, The New York Times reports.
The 50-foot-tall tree outside of the building was set on fire shortly after midnight Wednesday morning.
“This is the Fox Square in New York, outside of Fox headquarters,” Fox host Shannon Bream told viewers.
A few minutes later the feed showed smoke billowing from the tree after the fire appeared to be put out.
“But we’re going to monitor the situation to try to figure out what sparked this whole thing,” she said.
Police said they arrested 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha. He is charged with seven counts, including criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and arson.
Police say the man is homeless and are investigating whether drugs or mental illness played a factor.
New tree ceremony:
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott announced in a companywide memo on Wednesday that the network would hold a new tree lighting ceremony.
“We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us,” Scott said. “We are in the process of rebuilding and installing a new tree as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment like this.”
Fox began holding tree lighting ceremonies in 2019.
The tree reportedly had 10,000 ornaments and 100,000 lights.
Fox host blames “left wing”:
Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade argued that the alleged arson is “part of a bigger problem, it’s the crime surge in this country” even as crime in New York and other cities is on the decline.
“This is emblematic of the cities out of control, defame and defund the police, and this bail reform that has these men and women, these assailants, these suspects out before they even can finish off the paperwork,” Kilmeade said. “This is what you get if you have these left-wing DAs and officials running these major cities. You get chaos.”