Queens man cuts wrists at 'Today' show, says IRS out to get him
A Queens man slashed his wrists in front of the outside crowd at the "Today" show Thursday, saying the IRS was out to get him, but the morning program said it won't change how it films.
Pak Chong Mar, 72, sliced himself with a knife around 7:50 a.m., shouting "the IRS is watching me," as the show was about to begin its 8 o'clock hour outside, according to the NYPD and published reports. Security guards and police tackled him. He is listed in stable condition at Bellevue.
The show moved inside to start the hour, with host Matt Lauer explaining why they went inside.
"There was an incident out on the plaza," Lauer said. "A man tried to harm himself with a knife. He did manage to cut himself. He was controlled by our security team out there. ... He's being treated by medical personnel."
Co-host Savannah Guthrie later told TMZ.com that despite the incident, the show will continue to broadcast from outside.
"That's part of our identity as a show," Guthrie said. "Obviously we have a great security team."
The IRS filed a $1.1 million lien against Pak in 2011, and he threw IRS documents in the air before cutting himself, reports said.
In 1995, Pak reportedly cut off three of his fingers and threw them into the crowd at a festival in Flushing.