The incident occurred around 7:40 a.m. EST Thursday. An NYPD representative said the man, who was among the throngs of people who typically assemble in the area during the live telecast of the morning show, was 75 years old.
The show's on-site security guards responded to the incident along with NYPD officers. According to the New York Daily News, the man was saying how the Internal Revenue Service was corrupt.
"Today" show host Matt Lauer addressed the off-camera situation to viewers in explaining why a segment that was to take place outside had been scrapped. He also tweeted: "All secure on the plaza after a scary incident. Thanks to our security team and the NYPD." Soon followed by, "Sorry, a man attempted to harm himself with a knife."
NBC News issued the following statement:
"We have strict security protocols in place to protect visitors to the TODAY show and those procedures were followed and effective. We are very grateful for the actions of our security team and the NYPD that no others visiting the show were harmed in the incident."