The Fox News Christmas tree arsonist was freed without bail after his arraignment Wednesday night because his charges were not eligible for bail under new BLM reform laws.
The unrepentant firebug, who had a lighter on him, and who was observed by witnesses, even claimed he did not commit the crime.
“I didn’t do it!” suspect Craig Tamanaha, 49, claimed to reporters outside Manhattan criminal court after being asked about the early morning arson that caused about $500,000 in damage outside the Midtown building that houses Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post.
Police say the 49-year-old suspect climbed up “the metal superstructure” — the tree is an artificial sculpture that is shaped to look like a tree — lit papers he brought with him on fire and shoved the papers into the tree structure.
He then climbed down and watched from the street level as it burned, and he was spotted by building security who pointed the man out to police officers posted in nearby Rockefeller Center.
Tamanaha also hurled obscenities at reporters before asking them for a cigarette.
His father Richard Tamanaha, of Hawaii, told The New York Post: “Oh, he’s a nut. I can’t control him.
“Mentally, he’s not all there.”
Tamanaha, a vagrant with a lengthy rap sheet who was known to police, ranted outside the courthouse when he was freed.
“The moms that want to rape their f—ing daughters — they set it on fire,” he yelled.
Tamanaha has drug arrests as well.
The suspect was charged with a slew of misdemeanor charges — including arson, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and criminal trespass — for allegedly setting ablaze the 50-foot tall artificial tree with a piece of cardboard that was on fire.
Tamanaha was detained in November after exposing himself outside of the courthouse where Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial was taking place.
49 year old Craig Tamanaha, who is homeless, is in police custody after he was spotted lighting the Fox News Christmas tree on fire in New York City. Building security says he was seen climbing the tree with lighter. pic.twitter.com/tj4qE0c52b
— Parker Branton (@ParkerBranton) December 8, 2021