Man arrested carrying knives, fireworks into Trump Tower - police

Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, on Dec 6, 2016.
Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, on Dec 6, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (WASHINGTON POST) - Authorities in New York arrested a 19-year-old who entered Trump Tower with weapons and fireworks, police said on Tuesday (Dec 13).

Alexander Wang was taken into custody shortly before 7.30pm on Monday evening (Dec 12) inside the Manhattan skyscraper, which has effectively become a northern White House for President-elect Donald Trump during his transition.

Police said Wang had a “knife, garrote and fireworks” when he was arrested.

Wang has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of fireworks, according to the New York City Police Department.

Trump and Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, along with other officials, have entertained a parade of potential administration appointees and celebrities since the election last month. Trump Tower is where the President-elect lives and works, and his transition has largely operated out of the building in Midtown Manhattan. This has created security concerns, as Trump and his advisers have welcomed high-profile visitors into a building that is open to the public.

Wang was arrested not long after former Texas governor Rick Perry, tapped to head the Energy Department, walked out of an elevator and into the building’s lobby. Throughout the afternoon, other elected officials came through the lobby heading to meetings with Trump.

The lobby of Trump Tower is legally designated a public space as part of a deal Trump struck with New York City in the 1970s, so it remains open to the public each day from 8am to 10pm. As a result, the Secret Service and police in New York have had to craft an elaborate security ring around the building, erecting barricades and security checkpoints on the ground while creating a no-fly zone overhead.

Trump’s wife, Melania, and their son, Barron, plan to remain in New York after he takes the oath of office in January. According to a New York Times report last month, Trump has been speaking with advisers about how often he will divide his time among the White House, Trump Tower and other properties he owns.

It was not immediately clear whether Wang had an attorney.

Police said Wang’s home was listed as being in Poughquag, New York, about 70 miles north of Trump Tower.

The New York Post, which first reported his arrest, said that Wang is a student at Baruch College and that more fireworks were found in his dorm.