It was terror on the “Today” show on Thursday morning as a man outside the studio in Rockefeller Plaza attempted to take his own life by slashing his wrists with two knives.
The man, said to be in his 50s, was unkempt and speaking to anyone who would listen in broken English that the Internal Revenue Service was corrupt and that the agency “ruined his life.”
According to reports, he was also shouting about peppermint tea and trying to get bystanders to read a pile of papers — reportedly IRS documents of some sort — until he tossed the stack into the air about 7:50 a.m.
After failing to get attention, he then whipped out a pocket knife with three or four-inch blade and yelled “I’m going to cut myself!” twice before attacking his own wrist.
Someone outside managed to wrestled the blade from the man before he pulled out a second knife and started cutting away at his other wrist. NYPD cops and plaza security guards rushed towards the man with pepper-spray and tackled him, sending him sprawling.
“It happened really fast — and then he was down,” said 21-year-old Jossie Edwards, a tourist from Easley, S.C.
The “Today” crew had planned to do a segment outside until Matt Lauer announced to the crowd that the appearance was cancelled because of the “incident,” McLeroy said.
The man was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital and is expected to survive. Apparently, he intended on only harming himself, not others.