UPDATED, 3:51 PM PT: Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said that a new tree will be lit during The Five on Thursday. Lawrence Jones and Abby Horancek will lead the lighting.
Fox News Media and Fox Corp. also are making a $100,000 donation to Answer the Call, which provides financial assistance to family members of New York police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
Scott’s memo to employees is below.
PREVIOUSLY: A suspect was arrested on Wednesday on arson charges for setting fire to a 50-foot Christmas tree outside of Fox News headquarters in New York.
Police identified the suspect as Craig Tamanaha, 49, a homeless man whose last known address was in Brooklyn.
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told WPIX-TV in New York that it “is probably a little preliminary to say what the motivation was. Was mental illness a factor? We are looking at all of that and will probably have more to say.” Shea said that the suspect was “an individual that is known to us. he has a series of low level arrests and drug arrests,” along with appearance tickets and arrests from out of state.
Shannon Bream, anchor of Fox News’ Fox News @ Night, reported on the blaze early on Wednesday.
.@ShannonBream offers an update on the Fox News Christmas tree, which caught fire earlier tonight: "The fire appears to be out for now. Moments ago, you could see it was engulfed in flames. No word of any injuries there. We saw the crews there, bravely fighting through this." pic.twitter.com/Zs5ZUV3cMm
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 8, 2021
Police said that “the fire was extinguished and responding officers arrested the suspect, who has been charged for this crime.”
According to the Associated Press, the suspect was homeless, and he also faces charges of criminal mischief and trespassing. No injuries were reported.
The tree was outside the News Corp. headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
Fox & Friends also featured the incident on its show on Wednesday, as the hosts lamented the safety of the city. Co-host Brian Kilmeade connected the incident to criminal justice policy and the Defund the Police movement. “How soon until this psycho is out again to burn somebody else’s tree down or grab some weapon and harass somebody in the subway.” Co-Host Peter Doocy cautioned that “we don’t know the specific details yet. The police report has not been filed. We just heard what some of our security has said.”
The tree was lit in a ceremony on Sunday.
Suzanne Scott, the CEO of Fox News Media, sent a memo to employees on Wednesday morning about the incident.
“We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us. We are in the process of rebuilding and installing a new tree as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment like this.” She said that they are planning a lighting ceremony for the new tree.
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