The Christmas tree outside Fox News in Manhattan was set on fire. According to Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bayley, the perpetrator was not charged with any bail-eligible offense, and the homeless man who lit the Christmas tree on fire was released by the presiding Judge.
Craig Tamanaha (a 49-year old vagrant from Hawaii) was charged with multiple misdemeanors including arson and criminal mischief. According to Fox spokespersons, he caused approximately $500,000 of damage.
Tamanaha claimed he didn’t do it, and then he went on an incoherent rant before reporters.
After denying the arson, he hurled obscenities at reporters and asked them for a cigarette.
He also allegedly exposed his self outside of the Ghislaine-Maxwell trial last week.
Tamanaha scaled the tree to 50 feet and set it ablaze with a piece of cardboard.
Fox News made a statement prior to the mental state of the arsonist being known.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott informed colleagues in an internal memo that the “All-American Christmas Tree” outside Fox Square had been set on fire by a malicious arson attack.
Interesting questions arise from the “malicious attack”. How much was Tamanaha affected by the vicious media and political campaign against Fox? It’s difficult to argue that it wasn’t, judging by the reaction on Twitter.
Tamanaha might have been eligible for release without bail. However, Tamanaha may have been eligible for release without bail because of his mental illness. Wouldn’t it be more compassionate to take him off the streets?
This isn’t a bail issue, but a mental health problem. People such as Mr. Tamanaha shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets without supervision and almost certainly not with medication. Other than incarcerating or allowing them to roam freely, there must be a solution for the problem of mentally ill persons living on the streets.
As we have seen repeatedly, the standard of “not a risk to himself or others”, is completely inadequate. However, with our major cities under the control of the government and the ability to dictate mental health policy, rationality is no longer possible.