The Man Who Sets Himself Ablaze Outside Trump Trial Has Died: Who was Max Azarello?

A man died yesterday after setting himself on fire in front of the New York courthouse where Donald Trump is being tried for secret payments

by Sededin Dedovic
The Man Who Sets Himself Ablaze Outside Trump Trial Has Died: Who was Max Azarello?
© David Dee Delgado / Getty Images

The man identified by the police as Max Azarello from Florida died the day after the incident in front of the courthouse in Lower Manhattan, reports The Guardian. He passed away after setting himself on fire outside the New York courthouse where Donald Trump's trial for secret financial payments was being held.

The New York Police Department stated that the man was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Officials had earlier stated that the man, in his late thirties, was in critical condition. The New York Police Department announced that the man, identified as Max Azarello from St.

Augustine, Florida, apparently did not target Trump or others involved in the trial.

Former U.S.

President Donald Trump attends his trial in New York State Supreme Court on in New York City. Trump© David Dee Delgado / Getty images

Witnesses said the man pulled out pamphlets from his backpack and threw them into the air before dousing himself with liquid and setting himself on fire.

"We're currently labeling him as some sort of conspiracy theorist and proceeding from there," said Tarik Shepard, deputy commissioner in the police department, at a press conference. The courthouse in downtown Manhattan, heavily guarded by police, attracted a crowd of demonstrators and onlookers on Monday, the first day of the trial, but the number of people has since dwindled.

"We may have to shut down this area," said Kaz Daughtry, deputy police commissioner in New York.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Daughtry and NYPD Executives provide update© NYPD / YOutube channel

Several days before the self-immolation, he was photographed holding a sign in front of the same courthouse that read, "Trump is with Biden and they are getting ready to fascist hit us." Max Azarello, who traveled to New York from Florida, died after being in critical condition following the incident.

Before setting himself on fire, he scattered a bunch of pamphlets into the air. "They were almost like conspiracy theory-type pamphlets, some information about Ponzi schemes and the fact that some of our local educational institutions are fronts for the mafia," said senior police officer Joseph Kenny.

The pamphlets contain a link to a bulletin titled "Ponzi Papers," where Azarello outlined several theories connecting crypto billionaires, former US President Bill Clinton, sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Hollywood actor Rob Lowe with "an apocalyptic fascist global strike." "My name is Max Azarello, and I am the researcher who set himself on fire in front of the courthouse where Trump is being tried in Manhattan.

This extreme act of protest is a way to draw attention to an urgent and important discovery: we are victims of a totalitarian scam and our own government is preparing to hit us with an apocalyptic fascist global strike," it says.

The manifesto also includes photos of printed pamphlets containing similar theories, including titles such as "True History of the World." After news of the act, several videos of Azarello reading excerpts from his manifesto, as well as singing and calling on viewers to start a revolution, went viral.

A photo of a younger, smiling Azarello with Bill Clinton also surfaced on social media. Clinton is one of the 100 influential people Azarello sued in a conspiracy-laden case that the court dismissed last year, writes NDTV World.

Until last summer, writes The New York Times, Maxwell Azarello (37) seemed to have lived a relatively quiet life. After high school, where he was a member of the bowling team, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009, majoring in anthropology and public policy.

As a student at Rutgers University, where he earned a master's degree in urban and regional planning in 2012, he was known for leaving post-it notes for classmates in the hallways and for his karaoke performances of Frank Sinatra and Disney tunes, said former classmate Katie Brennan.

"He was very curious about social justice and how things 'could' be," said Brennan. "He was creative and adventurous." He began a career that, according to his LinkedIn profile, moved among jobs in marketing, sales, and technology.

In 2013, he worked on the campaign of Long Island representative Tom Suozzi, who was then running for Nassau County executive. A high school friend, Steven Waldman, called Azarello one of the smartest people he knew. "He was a good friend and person and cared about the world," he said.

But there were reasons for concern. Until last year, he had apparently settled in St. Augustine, where he lived in a modest apartment near the Matanzas River in that historic city. He was friendly, if sometimes quirky, neighbor.

"Extremely nice person," said Larry Altman, the manager of his apartment building, adding, "He had political views that I wouldn't consider mainstream. He called our government and the world government a Ponzi scheme. But there were no signs that he harbored a desire to harm himself", Altman said.

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