A distraught man tried to kill himself Thursday morning outside the Rockefeller Center studios of NBC’s "Today" show, reports the New York Post.
The man, Pak Chong Mar, was ranting about a $1.3 million IRS bill, and sliced his wrists with a boxcutter at about 7:50 a.m., the story reports. He allegedly screamed, "The IRS is trying to take my money! I’m not a freeloader!"
Frightened tourists ran to hide, reportedly concerned about a terror attack similar to a recent attack on a British soldier in London.
A security guard took him down, while nearby police officers jumped in to help. Mar, 72, was sprayed with Mace to subdue him. His wounds weren’t life threatening, the story notes.
His daughter told the newspaper that her father has a history of erratic behavior when stressed. He reportedly chopped off three of his fingers in 1995 to protest an eviction, and then refused to get them sewn back on.
"I think it’s a cry for help. If it was suicidal he would have done something much more drastic," his daughter, Lisa Yu Paks, said.
The NBC morning program appeared to be relatively unaffected. A witness said the “Today” show’s Al Roker and Matt Lauer “came out and looked at the scene. Al Roker just shook his head and went back inside. Matt Lauer went in shortly after.”