MANHATTAN — A defense attorney says the college teacher accused of trying to burn down St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan suffered a “psychotic episode” last week.
Attorney Christopher DiLorenzo asked a judge Wednesday to order Marc Lamparello to undergo a psychological evaluation.
DiLorenzo told The Associated Press that “it is clear that Mr. Lamparello suffered from a psychotic episode, and the events leading up to and including the event at St. Patrick’s Cathedral support this conclusion.”
Lamparello faces charges of attempted arson and reckless endangerment.
A prosecutor said Lamparello was planning to burn down the cathedral and carried gasoline cans, lighter fluid and lighters into the church.
Authorities say he booked a flight to Rome for the following day and planned to stay at a hotel 20 minutes away from the Vatican.
The prosecutor made no further remarks about the Rome plans.
Lamparello made his initial court appearance from a hospital. The judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The New York incident happened just days after flames ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.