Homeless Man Charged With Setting Fox Christmas Tree Ablaze Released Without Bail

[Screenshot/NBC News]

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Craig Tamanaha, a 49-year-old man charged with arson for allegedly igniting the Christmas tree outside of Fox News’ headquarters in New York City and causing $500,000 in damage, was released Wednesday because his charges were not eligible for bail.

The suspect denied having lit the tree on fire as he walked past reporters Wednesday. “The moms that want to rape their fucking daughters, they set it on fire,” Tamanaha can be heard saying in a video shared by the New York Post. “Ask the moms who molest their daughters. Ask them how they fucking feel about it,” he said before asking the reporters for a cigarette.

Tamanaha was arrested Wednesday for charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct after allegedly burning the 50-foot-tall tree, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Prepare For The Holidays With The Best Christmas Scenes From ‘The Office’)

The charges were not bail-eligible, according to Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bayley. Judge Marisol Martinez Alonso granted Tamanaha a supervised release in addition to vacating two open warrants for desk appearance tickets and telling him to return to court Jan. 4, the NYP reported. “Today I have to be here?” he asked the judge, according the NYP.

“Oh, he’s a nut. I can’t control him,” Tamanaha’s father said, adding that his son is homeless, abuses drugs and has a history of destructive stunts, according to NYP. The suspect has also been accused of exposing himself to a female photographer in front of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, the NYP reported.

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