By David Madden
MT. LAUREL, N.J. (CBS) — The man who committed suicide on the National Mall in Washington, DC last week by setting himself on fire (see related story) has been identified as a South Jersey resident who, according to his family, was not making a political statement by his final act.
John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, died in a Washington, DC hospital a day after the incident. His family, through a Washington-based attorney, has issued a statement calling John “a loving father and husband.”
The family insists his death was “not a political act or statement, but the result of his long battle with mental illness.”
They did not elaborate on the nature of that illness but thanked paramedics and bystanders who tried to save him.
And finally, they state this is “a personal family matter and not an issue of public concern” as they request the news media leave them alone.