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Man slashes wrists outside NBC's Today

07 June 2013, 12:42

New York - A 76-year-old man yelling that the government was going to take his house slit his wrists outside NBC's Today show on Thursday before he was taken into police custody, police said.

Pak Chong-Mar was in the crowd outside the Today studio at Rockefeller Plaza and also was yelling about how the Internal Revenue Service was corrupt and ruined his life, authorities said.

Police and plaza security guards quickly subdued the man, authorities and witnesses said. Some bystanders were treated for exposure to blood. Police took the man to a hospital where his mental health was being evaluated. His injuries were not life threatening.

Not caught on TV

"I need people to help me fight for justice," Pak told the Daily News of New York from his hospital bed afterward. "If I don't do something drastic, sooner or later these guys are going to kill me anyway. I couldn't even pay rent this month."

His daughter told the newspaper what had happened was "sad".

Authorities said the man's behaviour was not thought to have been caught on television. The show moves inside and outside the studio.

Lauer later sent another Twitter message that read: "All secure on the plaza after a scary incident. Thanks to our security team and the NYPD."

Strict security protocols

NBC News said in a statement that it followed its security procedures. "We are very grateful for the actions of our security team and the NYPD that no others visiting the show were harmed in the incident," the statement said.

Today show host Matt Lauer explained to viewers at one point that the show was brought inside the studio because of "an incident" on the plaza. He said a man tried to harm himself with a knife but was taken into custody and the plaza was secure.

NBC News said in a statement: "We have strict security protocols in place to protect visitors to the Today show and those procedures were followed and effective."

- AP

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