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Fox News ‘All-American’ Christmas Tree Arson Suspect Released Without Bail


The 49-year-old ‘arsonist’ accused of setting fire to the Fox News 50-foot Christmas tree is back on the street less than 24 hours after his arrest because of the city’s lenient bail laws.

Craig Tamanaha, a 49-year-old homeless and ’emotionally disturbed’ man, faced six misdemeanor counts under the 2020 criminal justice reforms for torching the tree. This means that judges are encouraged to free the accused. According to an online tabloid, arson is only a felony if the arsonist causes bodily harm or seeks to cause bodily harm to another person, or if the act is carried out as a hate crime.

Tamanaha, a vagrant with a long rap sheet known to police, launched on an incoherent rant outside the courthouse. He denied the arson and screamed obscenities at journalists before asking for a smoke.

“I didn’t do it!” suspect Craig Tamanaha, 49, told the reporters (via The New York Post) after being asked about the early morning arson that caused about $500,000 in damage.

At the arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bayley said Tamanaha was “not charged with a bail-eligible offense.”

At prosecutors’ request, Judge Marisol Martinez Alonso gave Tamanaha supervised release. Tamanaha would have to be convicted with at least third-degree felony arson for a court to set bail, according to criminal defense lawyer Mark Bederow of Fox News.

According to outgoing NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, Tamanaha was already known to cops.

“It’s an individual that’s known to us — he has a series of low-level arrests and drug arrests,” the top cop told WPIX (via Deadline) on Wednesday.

A photographer also told The New York Post that Tamanaha allegedly exposed himself to a group of reporters outside the Ghislaine Maxwell trial in Manhattan last week.

Arson is only a felony in New York if the suspect intends to damage someone or conducts a hate crime, he clarified. Before the bail amendments took effect in 2019, outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “With the lowest rate of incarceration of any major city, New York City is proving you don’t need to arrest your way to safety.” 

“‘We are taking additional steps to ensure that people who can be safely supervised in the community [can] stay there, all while keeping crime at historic lows,” he added.

21st Century Fox Sold To Walt Disney Co. For Over 70 Billion Dollars [Representational image] NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 20: The News Corp. building on 6th Avenue, home to Fox News, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, on March 20, 2019 in New York City, New York. Disney acquired Fox today in a $71.3 million deal. Kevin Hagen/Getty Images




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