Authorities: Former Firefighter Breached JFK Security to Try to Give the Pope His Business Card
A former FDNY firefighter was arrested after he breached security at JFK airport during the Pope's departure.
Pope Francis may have been the target of a plot by a former New York City firefighter who allegedly breached security at JFK Airport.
"I want to change the world,” Christopher Cannella, 29, reportedly told police after his arrest on Saturday. He reportedly told authorities that he wanted to give the Pope his business card.
The suspect allegedly drove his black SUV onto the tarmac at JFK Airport simply by blending in with a secret service motorcade and flashing a New York City Fire Department badge.
Inside the SUV, cops made a shocking discovery -- a footlong hunting knife, along with two walkie-talkies and five bullets for a nine-millimeter pistol.
Fortunately, the Pope had already departed for Philadelphia when the alleged security breach took place.
Chillingly, the suspect told cops that he had slipped inside the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., without a ticket when the Pope made his memorable appearance there.
Cannella is married with two children. He lives in this home in North Babylon, Long Island, and until 2012 was a firefighter with Engine 45 in the Bronx.
He’s pleaded not guilty to charges including criminal impersonation, unauthorized possession of ammunition and criminal trespass. His bail was set at $500,000.
According to court records, following his arrest, Cannella broke a chair and threatened to hit a detective while inside a police interrogation room at the airport.
“I can hurt you really bad with this,” he told a detective, according to the records.
According to the New York Daily News, his lawyer describes him as "a guy going through a lot of stress who did something stupid. I think he would have liked to get a message to the pope -- hoping for a prayer or maybe an audience with the Pope."
The Pope's visit to America involved the largest security operation in the nation's history.
Watch Below: Pope Francis' Visit is Largest Security Operation in U.S. History
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