The deranged Queens man who slashed his wrists in front of a horrified Rockefeller Center crowd watching the “Today” show broadcast said he had been robbed of his fortune and was lashing out at the IRS with this “desperate act.”
“I had to do something desperate to fight the corruption, fight the IRS,” Pak Chong Mar told a Daily News reporter as he lay on a hospital gurney at Bellevue Hospital. “They are so powerful.”
Bandages on his right hand and left wrist, blood spattered on his dark jeans, Pak gave a rambling statement as his wife and grown daughter sat silently nearby.
“I need people to help me fight for justice,” Pak said. “If I don’t do something drastic, sooner or later these guys are going to kill me anyway. I couldn’t even pay rent this month.”
Pak Chong Mar was tackled at the Today Show filming outside 30 rock.
Pak, 76, said he emigrated from China to New York in 1948 and made a million dollars buying stocks with money made from running a grocery store and working as a waiter. He said TD Ameritrade and Scottrade helped plunder his funds and he had “proof” back at his apartment.
“I should be living well,” he said. “I had over a million dollars before. They’re making my life miserable.”
Pak’s daughter, who declined to give her name, shook her head sadly.
Pak Chong Mar ranted about the IRS before he was tackled at the Today Show filming outside 30 rock.
“It’s sad,” she said. “We’re just trying to figure things out.”
Pak pleaded with the reporter for help and promised him a $50,000 cut if he got his money back. But when asked about the three fingers missing from his left hand, Pak abruptly said, “That’s a long story.”
According to police, back in August 1995 Pak used used a meat cleaver to methodically chop off the pinky, ring and middle fingers of his left hand — then he tossed each digit into the crowd gathered for the Hong Kong Dragon Board Festival in Flushing.
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A man with a knife cut his wrists outside the filming of the ‘Today’ show on Thursday.
Pak was carrying letters protesting his eviction from his Brooklyn apartment at the time.
When Pak arrived at NBC headquarters shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday, he was wearing a grubby gray T-shirt and a white baseball cap — and carrying another sheaf of documents.
“The IRS ruined my life!” he said in a thick accent, witnesses said. “I’m not a freeloader!”
Witnesses said the man was ranting about the IRS and tossed a stack of papers in the air before cutting himself.
Pak also yelled something about “peppermint tea” and then thrust the papers at the tourists inside the barricaded area in the plaza that had been watching Matt, Savannah and Al do their thing.
When nobody would look at the papers, Pak threw them up in the air in apparent frustration and pulled out his knife.
“I’m going to cut myself” Pak declared.
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Security guards tackled the man, who could be seen bleeding beneath a partition outside the studio.
As Pak was sawing one wrist, somebody knocked the knife out of his hands, witnesses said. So Pak grabbed another and began cutting the other wrist.
But a former NYPD cop who now works as Matt Lauer’s “security guy” tackled him.
A pal identified the hero ex-cop only as “Joe.”
“He took him down like a sack of potatoes,” the pal told a News reporter. “He’s a regular guy, ex-cop, NYPD. It’s what he does.”
The unidentified man was taken to St. Luke’s hospital and expected to survive.
Pak was knocked off his feet — and into a puddle of his own blood, witnesses said.
“It happened really fast — and then he was down,” said 21-year-old Jossie Edwards, a tourist from Easley, S.C.