Pak Chong Mar, 75, was the man who slit his wrists outside the Today show studio on Thursday. The act, he said, in protest of government corruption and the “powerful” IRS. Speaking to the New York Daily News — which tracked him down in the hospital — Pak said it was a “desperate” act in the “fight for justice.”
“I had to do something desperate to fight the corruption, fight the IRS,” Pak, who said he came to the U.S. from China in 1948, told a Daily News reporter. “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.”
Witnesses said he was shouting “The IRS ruined my life!” and “I’m not a freeloader!” outside the Today studio. How did the agency ruin his life?
[Pak said he] made a million dollars buying stocks with money made from running a grocery store and working as a waiter. He claimed TD Ameritrade and Scottrade helped the IRS 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.”
It also wasn’t the first time he dramatically harmed himself in public; there was another incident in Queens in 1995. Protesting a pending eviction, he had hacked off three of his fingers.
Today anchor Matt Lauer addressed yesterday’s incident on air, after the team had been moved inside and the area evacuated, and noted that security had responded quickly.
The report here.
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