Man attempts suicide outside Today Show

Holy crap. This morning in New York, a man in the crowd gathered outside NBC's Today show started shouting about government corruption before pulling a knife on himself and slashing his wrists: 'Today' show wrist-slasher explains: 'The IRS ruined my life!'

Outside NBC headquarters, 76-year-old Pak Chong Mar began ranting about the IRS and tossed a stack of papers in the air. He then pulled out a knife and started sawing at his wrist in front of the horrified Rockefeller Center crowd before being tackled by security:

When Pak arrived at NBC headquarters shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday, he was wearing a grubby gray T-shirt and a white baseball cap — and carrying another sheaf of documents.

"The IRS ruined my life!" he said in a thick accent, witnesses said. "I'm not a freeloader!"

Pak also yelled something about "peppermint tea" and then thrust the papers at the tourists inside the barricaded area in the plaza that had been watching Matt, Savannah and Al do their thing.

When nobody would look at the papers, Pak threw them up in the air in apparent frustration and pulled out his knife.

"I'm going to cut myself" Pak declared.

As Pak was sawing one wrist, somebody knocked the knife out of his hands, witnesses said. So Pak grabbed another and began cutting the other wrist.

But a former NYPD cop who now works as Matt Lauer's "security guy" tackled him.
Mar says he had to "something desperate to fight the corruption" of the IRS, which he claims is making his life miserable. According to police, this isn't the first time he's committed a dramatic, violent public act -- in 1995, he cut off three of his fingers at the Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing:
According to police, back in August 1995 Pak used used a meat cleaver to methodically chop off the pinky, ring and middle fingers of his left hand — then he tossed each digit into the crowd gathered for the Hong Kong Dragon Board Festival in Flushing.

Pak was carrying letters protesting his eviction from his Brooklyn apartment at the time.
While there was reportedly a lot of blood, Mar was taken to the hospital and expected to survive. Whether or not his claims are true, this man's obviously got serious problems. I hope he gets the help he needs. More here: Queens man slashes wrists outside Today Show.

Meanwhile, the incident didn't disrupt the show. It all happened outside, off camera, and Matt Lauer made note of it later in the broadcast -- safely from inside the studio.

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