A Bronx man was taken into custody Monday afternoon after a Fox News employee reported his strange behavior to the police. Yuriy Alterman, 38, was seen in midtown Manhattan "acting erratically" and was allegedly found carrying a half-full gas can, matches, and the book Son of Hamas.
A witness believed Alterman was "walking erratically towards the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree" and alerted a police officer near 48th Street and 6th Avenue, by the News Corp. building. Officers then followed Alterman to Rockefeller Plaza.
When officers arrested him, sources say Alterman yelled, "F--k the NYPD!" and said "Sometimes you guys do things that make others do things, even though that's not who we are... Have you seen the news today?" He also allegedly threw a glass bottle.
NBC New York says, "Alterman told police that he got the gas can at 10th Avenue, did not have a car and was walking around." According to WABC 7, "Alterman told the officers that he didn't intend to set anything on fire."
Son of Hamas is the memoir of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a founding member of Hamas; Yousef writes about rejecting the teachings of Hamas and converting to Christianity.
Police do not believe the incident was connected to any terrorist plot, and Alterman was arraigned on charges of disorderly conduct and weapon possession. His Legal Aid lawyer said, "He bought the gas just to buy it. I don’t think these charges are sufficient to this point."