“Today” Show Suicide Attempt: Elderly Man Publicly Harmed Self in Past

June 7, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

An elderly man apparently tried to commit suicide near the “Today” show studio in New York City, and he complained that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stole his money.

“I had to do something desperate to fight the corruption, fight the IRS,” Pak Chong Mar, 72, told the New York Daily News while in the hospital. “They are so powerful.”

Pak, who immigrated from China to the United States decades ago, said that he made more than a million dollars but complained that the IRS hammered him.

“I need people to help me fight for justice,” Pak added. “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.”

According to the New York Times, Pak harmed himself in public at a parade in Flushing, Queens, in 1995.

In the incident on Thursday, Pak brandished a box cutter and cut himself.

Shawna R. Munger, a photographer from Kentucky, told the Times: “Then he just starts violently cutting his arm.”

“The next thing you know,” she added, “an officer comes in and just straight tackles him to the ground.”