According to a Thursday update, the man who lit himself on fire near the White House Wednesday might have been high on a hard dissociative drug originally designed to be used as anesthesia.
“D.C. law enforcement sources tell TMZ … cops believe Gupta was high on a drug called K2, which was laced with PCP,” TMZ said. “We’re told responding officers saw signs Gupta was hallucinating — he also did not respond to their commands to roll over as they tried to extinguish him.”
Arnav Gupta, 33, of Bethesda, Maryland set himself on fire in Ellipse Park Wednesday. Dramatic video footage showed the engulfed man calmly walking in the park as he burned. Gupta had previously been reported missing, and authorities said that they were “concerned for Gupta’s physical and emotional welfare.”
After covering 85 percent of his body with third degree burns, Gupta succumbed to his injuries in the hospital Wednesday night.
“K2 is a synthetic THC, composed almost entirely of chemicals, which is banned in the U.S.,” TMZ said. “There have been widespread incidents of people getting violent and delusional on K2.”
Whether there was a political motive behind Gupta’s fiery display remains unknown to authorities.
TMZ said there was a “suspicious package” burning near Gupta which was subsequently extinguished. The contents of the package remain unidentified.
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Trump Pardons 9/11 Hero & Ex-NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik
On February 18, 2020, President Donald Trump announced the pardon of Bernard Kerik, the former NYPD commissioner who spent time in prison for tax fraud and lying to the government.
This news came hours after Trump pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former San Francisco 49ers owner was convicted in a gambling fraud scandal. DeBartolo Jr. built one of the most successful franchises in NFL history.
Kerik was nominated to be the nation’s head of homeland security on one occasion and spent three years in prison before being released in 2013.
He was viewed as a hero for leading the NYPD during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, Kerik’s image took a hit when he became the first New York City police commissioner to be imprisoned for federal crimes.
His legal problems spilled over and muddied the political aspirations of other elected officials, such as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
While leaving the White House Tuesday afternoon, Trump said he “pardoned” Kerik “a man who had many recommendations from a lot of good people.”
After being pardoned, Kerik went on Twitter to thank the president writing that “there are no words to express my appreciation and gratitude to President Trump. He continued by saying that “with the exception of the birth of my children, today is one of the greatest days in my life.”
Kerik proceed to describe his prison experience as “dying with your eyes open,’ citing the “collateral consequences and the permanent loss of many of your civil and constitutional rights are personally devastating.”
Kerik volunteered to be Giuliani’s chauffeur and provided security during his first unsuccessful run for mayor. Once he secured the mayor’s office in 1993, Giuliani promoted Kerik, a high school dropout, to the highest echelons of New York City government.
The mayor eventually promoted his former bodyguard as the city’s 40th police commissioner in 2001.
Kerik almost became President George Bush’s Homeland Security Secretary in 2004, but he was quickly dropped as a nominee.
Two days afterwards, The Daily News reported that Larry Ray, who had been the best man at Kerik’s wedding, had presented evidence of Kerik failing to report thousands of dollars in gifts he’d received while he was an employee of New York City.
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