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NY archdiocese prays for repose of attempted arsonist after suicide

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by Perry West

Denver Newsroom, Apr 30, 2020 / 06:32 pm MT (CNA).- The Archdiocese of New York has offered prayer for the repose of the soul of Marc Lamparello, who committed suicide earlier this month.

Lamparello had tried to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral in April 2019 with four gallons of gasoline, two cans of lighter fluid, and two lighters, but was stopped by security and then arrested. He was charged with attempted arson.

“Every suicide is a tragedy. We pray for the consolation of his family and loved ones, and entrust his soul to the infinite love and mercy of God. May he rest in peace,” Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the New York archdiocese, told CNA.

After his early release from prison, Lamparello was unable to receive psychiatric treatment at a hospital in New Jersey because the coronavirus pandemic had disrupted the mental health system. The month without treatment was a critical time, his family said.

“The hospital dropped the ball tremendously,” said his mother Dolores Lamparello, according to the New York Post. “They did nothing. My son went a whole month without any treatment whatsoever. They cost my son his life.”

Donnalee Corrieri, a spokeswoman for Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, defended the hospital and the care it provided for Lamparello. She said the hospital followed protocol and emphasized the anxiety caused by the pandemic.

“The stress of something as significant as this pandemic will undoubtedly have far-reaching mental health impacts,” said Corrieri, according to the New York Times. “His interactions with our facility and the treatment we provided followed our protocols.”

A judge ordered Lamparello’s release from Rikers Island March 20 to help stop the spread of coronavirus in prisons. Prior to his three-month stint in jail, he was treated at a psychiatric hospital in upstate New York.

Lamparello had been diagnosed with schizophrenia a month before his arrest and, following his release, was ordered to participate in an outpatient program at Bergen.

A week after his release, his mother dropped him off for his first daily outpatient session, which was expected to last about six hours. However, the hospital demanded that he quarantine for two weeks, and he came home two hours later.

“He was told he had to quarantine for two weeks and was later dropped as a patient without explanation,” she said, according to the New York Post.

His caseworker and family unsuccessfully attempted to reinstate Lamparello into the program. Even after he completed quarantine April 9, the hospital again rejected him without explanation.

Dolores said her son was distraught from the lack of structure. “Mom, I need structure,” he told her, according to the mom, the New York Post reported. “I can’t do nothing.”

After he was rejected the second time, Lamparello was caught trying to jump off the George Washington Bridge, when he was stopped by the police. He was then taken to Bergen, where he was committed to a psychiatric ward for four days and the dosage to his antipsychotic medication was lowered.

He jumped off the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge April 17, and his corpse was found that afternoon in New York Harbor.

He had been reinstated into the outpatient program, with telepsychology sessions scheduled to begin April 20 through Zoom. However, according to this family, it was too late and three weeks without mental care was detrimental to his condition.

“He was failed,” said Lee Nelms, Lamparello’s sister, according to the New York Times. “My brother was a victim not only of his mental illness but also the mental health system.”

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