Family: Man Who Set Self on Fire Was Mentally Ill

View Comments ()



    John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J., died after being airlifted from the National Mall Friday afternoon. An attorney for his family said he likely wasn't making a political statement, and had battled mental illness for years. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013)

    The family of the New Jersey man who set himself on fire on the National Mall says his death was the result of a long fight with mental illness.

    Attorney Jeffrey Cox represents the family of 64-year-old John Constantino of Mount Laurel. Cox says in a statement the Constantino family believes he wasn't making a political statement when he poured gasoline on himself in the center portion of the mall Friday afternoon and set himself on fire.

    Man May Have Set Himself on Fire on National Mall

    [DC] Man May Have Set Himself on Fire on National Mall
    Park Police say a man may have doused himself in gas and set himself on fire Friday afternoon on the National Mall. He is listed in critical condition at a D.C. hospital. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013)

    Passing joggers took off their shirts to help put out the flames. Police say Constantino was conscious and breathing at the scene but died at a Washington hospital later that night.

    His family acknowledged the efforts of bystanders to save him.

    They described Constantino as a "loving father and husband" and asked for privacy.

    Follow NBCWashington for the latest anywhere, anytime: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts