(Video Credit: Fox News)
An enraged and incoherent Craig Tamanaha, the alleged arsonist who set fire to Fox News’ 50-foot Christmas tree, was allowed to walk Wednesday after his charges were deemed not eligible for bail under New York City’s liberal reform laws.
Tamanaha was set free after his arrangement on Wednesday night less than 24-hours after the incident. He proceeded to go on a lengthy, non-sensical rant outside the courthouse denying he did the deed while shouting obscenities at reporters and then asking them for a cigarette.
“I didn’t do it!” Tamanaha, 49, declared standing outside Manhattan criminal court. “The moms that want to rape their f***ing daughters — they set it on fire!”
Fox News employees called the NYPD after reportedly watching Tamanaha climb the tree at 12.14 am on Wednesday and then set it on fire. He tried to flee but was arrested.
The arson incident racked up approximately $500,000 in damages outside Fox News’ building, according to the New York Post.
The Christmas tree outside of Fox News has caught on fire. pic.twitter.com/No7SVK0JeF
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) December 8, 2021
The suspect is homeless, emotionally disturbed, and has a long rap sheet. He has been charged with six misdemeanors that include criminal mischief, arson, reckless endangerment, and criminal trespass. The vagrant allegedly set the artificial tree ablaze using a piece of cardboard that he set on fire with a lighter. This comes after he reportedly flashed outside Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial proceedings last month.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bayley remarked that Tamanaha was “not charged with a bail eligible offense” following his arraignment. Adding insult to injury, Judge Martinez Alonso granted Tamanaha a supervised release. Two open warrants for desk appearance tickets were also vacated.
No bail was set under the new reform laws in New York. The suspect would have had to have been charged with at least third-degree felony arson for that to happen, according to criminal defense lawyer Mark Bederow. He went on to tell Fox News that in New York, arson is only considered a felony if the suspect attempts to harm a person or commits a hate crime.
Tamanaha, who appears to be mentally unstable, was ordered to appear in court on Jan. 4.
He seemed confused after receiving the directive. “Today I have to be here?” Tamanaha asked.
The homeless man’s father says he has a history of abusing drugs and destroying property, according to the New York Post.
“Oh, he’s a nut. I can’t control him,” Richard Tamanaha, of Hawaii, bluntly remarked. “Mentally, he’s not all there.”
The beautiful Christmas Tree in Fox Square being lit on fire last night is so emblematic of New York City right now.
— Nicole Saphier, MD (@NBSaphierMD) December 8, 2021
In an internal memo, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott told employees, “This has become a wonderful new tradition on FOX Square over the last three years. We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us,” according to the Daily Mail.
The company says it will rebuild and install a new tree this week. It will be lit during “The Five” on Thursday. Hosts Lawrence Jones and Abby Horancek will lead the lighting ceremony, according to Deadline.
Crime has exploded in New York City since Democrats implemented new bail reform laws that release many criminals back onto the streets.
‘There’s no question that the legislature has got to reevaluate the nooks and crannies of the bail statute because it’s leading to absurd outcomes,’ Bederow, who is a former Manhattan prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer, told Fox News in an interview.
Outgoing Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement that “the resulting crime that has flowed from disastrous bail reform law” is “insanity.”
Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio is being blamed for much of the surge in violence after softening bail reform laws to let criminals out of jail early.
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