Man Who Set Himself on Fire Outside Trump Trial Dies, Recent History of Criminality Emerges

by State Brief

Max Azzarello, who set himself on fire outside the Trump trial in New York, has died

Max Azzarello, the man who set himself on fire outside the Trump Trial, has died at a New York hospital.

The self-described “investigative researcher” had travelled from Florida to New York days before he set himself on fire, to protest at the trial. He had been protesting loudly against both sides of the political spectrum, claiming that Biden and Trump are colluding together to destroy American democracy, before setting himself on fire on Friday afternoon.

At one point he held up a sign saying, “Trump is with Biden and they’re about to fascist coup us.”

As he set himself on fire, Azzarello threw a large stack of pamphlets into the air that included a link to a long manifesto he had published on Substack, justifying his self-immolation. The manifesto includes details of the “fascist coup” that is supposedly about to take place. It began, according to Azzarello, when “a billionaire named Peter Thiel started a bank run on Silicon Valley Bank.”

“My name is Max Azzarello, and I am an investigative researcher who has set himself on fire outside of the Trump trial in Manhattan,” the manifesto begins.

“This extreme act of protest is to draw attention to an urgent and important discovery:

“We are victims of a totalitarian con, and our own government (along with many of their allies) is about to hit us with an apocalyptic fascist world coup.”

Azzarello described his self-immolation as an “act of revolution.”

New details have emerged that are shedding further light on Azzarello’s political beliefs and his state of mind at the time of the suicide. Azzarello was arrested three times in St Augustine, Florida last year over the course of a few days, with official police reports describing him as unemployed and suicidal.

His first documented run-in with local police was on August 19, 2023, when he allegedly threw a glass of wine at a framed autograph of Bill Clinton in the lobby of the Casa Monica Hotel.

A picture was posted on Twitter on Friday of Azzarello with Bill Clinton.

Two days after the first arrest, he was arrested again, at the same hotel, allegedly stripping down to his underwear and shouting at customers. An officer also saw him allegedly climb into a fountain on a nearby property.

On August 24, he was observed on surveillance allegedly writing on a small sign outside the Little Free Library before destroying a pest control sign nearby.

According to the police report, Azzarello misinterpreted the sign as saying the pest-control company was there to “exterminate children and dogs.”

Police mugshots from the arrests show Azzarello pulling a series of bizarre expressions.

In an unverified claim he posted to Facebook ten days before his first arrest, Azzarello claimed to have spent “three days in the psych ward,” pushing the beginning of his criminal spree—and possibly the mental break that caused it—to the beginning of August 2023.

Azzarello’s Facebook post about his time in a psych ward / Photo: Facebook

“Three days in the psych ward and all I got were my new favourite socks,” he wrote, before writing a rambling post describing “the good,” “the bad,” and “the ugly” of his time in the institution, which included an evaluation of the effectiveness of the current system of incarceration.

In a section of the post he argued that if the goal of incarceration is truly rehabilitation, the system followed by the “Spanish Anarchists” in the 1930s should be followed.

“While incarcerated, there was no hierarchy between staff and prisoners. You wouldn’t be able to distinguish one from the others, so there was no opposing force even in detainment. Pretty rad, right? If the goal is rehabilitation (and that should be the only goal), I’ll bet that model would produce tremendous results.”

He ended the post by describing the circumstances of his arrest—“the bad— claiming that he had been arrested for writing a profanity on a Starbucks receipt and handing it to a cashier, who called the police on him. Officers then arrived at his apartment a few hours later. Azzarello claimed in the post that his gesture was a “double entendre” which was misinterpreted by the Starbucks manager because Starbacks is “hellworld.”

“I was handcuffed, shoved, and put into a psych ward. I was given no information about why I was there until after my discharge.”

“Though I committed no crime and was released upon my first evaluation, all background checks (like the ones for jobs) will show an incident with police officers that cannot be expunged.”

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