On Wednesday, a man allegedly tried to commit suicide inside the air duct of a Manhattan Renaissance Hotel by lighting his shoes on fire with a cigar lighter. Juan Estella walked into the hotel around 5 AM, according to the New York Post, and began making a scene.
Employees unsuccessfully attempted to subdue Estella, who managed to escape to a closed-off area of the hotel, according to the New York Daily News.
Then, hotel workers on the seventh floor noticed the smell of burned rubber. That stench was the smell of his shoes, which Estella lit on fire according to an NYPD spokesman. He was stuck inside the vent and reportedly hoped the fire would set off the smoke detectors.
Not long after first responders arrived on the scene, Estella was removed from the shaft. He then allegedly told them he had "crawled inside the shaft to commit suicide."
He was arrested wearing nothing but long underwear covered in black soot.
He faces burglary and arson charges, in addition to criminal trespass charges, according to the New York Daily News. Police believe he is mentally unwell, and he has been sent to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Because of the mental health evaluation, his arraignment is pending.
Allegedly, Estella has been arrested in the past for burglary. It is unclear at this time if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
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