Man Sets Self on Fire Near Courthouse Hosting Trump Trial

A man set himself on fire on Friday afternoon outside the Lower Manhattan courthouse where the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump is taking place.

Eyewitnesses say the man doused himself with liquid in Collect Pond Park, a designated protest area across the street from the courthouse, before orange flames soon engulfed him. It was unclear what motivated his action.

The incident occurred just moments after jury selection was completed in , the first criminal trial of a former President in U.S. history.

Emergency responders rushed to the scene to extinguish the fire. The man, who appeared to be alive, was taken on a stretcher into an ambulance.

Videos circulating on social media showed the man lying on the ground on fire as smoke billowed near the courthouse, which already had a heavy police presence due to the high profile nature of the case.

Trump, who has been present in the courtroom throughout the proceedings, faces allegations related to a $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to prevent her claims of a sexual encounter with him from becoming public during the 2016 election.

Opening statements in the trial are expected to begin on Monday.

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