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IRS ranter slashes wrists outside 'Today' show in Rockefeller Plaza

A deranged, suicidal man ranting against the government used two knives to saw at his wrists outside the “Today" show Thursday morning.

The man was unkempt and in his 50s, witnesses said. He wore a grey T-shirt and white baseball cap when he staggered up to “Today" show fans outside 10 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan and used broken English to tell anyone who would listen that the Internal Revenue Service was corrupt and that the agency "ruined his life."

The lunatic was shouting about peppermint tea and trying to get bystanders to read a pile of papers — reportedly IRS documents of some sort — until he tossed the stack into the air about 7:50 a.m.

He then whipped out a pocket knife with three or four-inch blade and yelled “I’m going to cut myself!” twice before hacking at his own wrist.

Someone wrestled the blade from the loony before he pulled out a second knife and started cutting away at his other wrist. NYPD cops and plaza security guards rushed towards the man with pepper-spray and tackled him, sending him sprawling.

“It happened really fast — and then he was down,” said 21-year-old Jossie Edwards, a tourist from Easley, S.C.

He was so bloody that police used their feet to restrain the man while waiting for medical personnel to arrive. Gore was everywhere, said Edwards’ mother, Kim McLeroy.

“They didn’t want to touch him,” McLeroy said.

He screamed, "Move my head!" as personnel restrained him and loaded him into an ambulance, McLeroy said. The man was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital and is expected to survive.

The “Today” crew had planned to do a segment outside until Matt Lauer announced to the crowd that the appearance was cancelled because of the “incident,” McLeroy said.

The suicidal man never made it in front of the millions who watch the breakfast show. "He was in the crowd but off camera,'' a police source said.

The man was however within the "Today" show's barricades and among a crowd of people when he began his self-inflicted attack.

No one else was injured, and witnesses said the man appeared intent on self-harm — not mass casualties.

Security cleared the Rockefeller Plaza as custodial crews dropped powder and mopped up the bloody scene.

McLeroy and Edwards were on their first visit to the Big Apple.

“It’s been really nice, nothing out of the ordinary — except that,” she said.

The "Today" show confirmed the incident in a tweet that said,“@MLauer just reported that a man on the plaza tried to harm himself with a knife. No one else was injured. Police are handling.”

About an hour after the incident, host Matt Lauer tweeted, "All secure on the plaza after a scary incident. Thanks to our security team and the NYPD."

Today Show Video: http://youtu.be/HSqqHVXVAHU
Fan Caught Video: http://www.mobypicture.com/user/SirAnduck/view/15423614