Man carrying gas can, matches, ‘Son of Hamas’ arrested at Rockefeller Center: NYPD

Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 22:17:59-05

MIDTOWN, Manhattan -- A man carrying a gasoline can and matches near Rockefeller Center Monday afternoon has been arrested, law enforcement officials tell PIX11 News.

Yuriy Alterman, 38, of the Bronx was seen by a witness walking erratically towards the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

The witness flagged down a police officer when they noticed the man was lugging the gas can and matches. Alterman, who was also carrying the book "Son of Hamas," then hurled a bottle at officers while yelling expletives.

He was taken into custody at Rockefeller Center.

Police say the man was carrying about a gallon of gas, but were told he didn't plan on setting anything on fire.

Alterman is the son of the founder of the extremist Hamas group, which he renounced and converted to Christianity.

Alterman will be charged with making a terroristic threat, obstruction of government administration and disorderly conduct. He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday night.

PIX11's Tony Gatto contributed to this report.