NYC officer prevents man from lighting himself on fire

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Authorities are hailing a police officer who prevented an emotionally disturbed man from lighting himself on fire after he poured what is believed to be gasoline on himself near the World Trade Center.

Police credited Officer Ramon Hernandez's "quick reaction & training" after the 48-year-old "suicidal man" was taken into custody Tuesday around 4:40 p.m. near West and Vesey streets in Manhattan.

The man was later hospitalized.

A suspicious package belonging to him was deemed safe.

The incident drew a heavy police presence to the World Trade Center site and prompted the closure of nearby roads, snarling rush-hour traffic.

Authorities are hypervigilant about security in the area, which teems with workers heading to the rebuilt office building complex, tourists visiting the 9/11 memorial and commuters using a major transportation hub.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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