The man, Pak Chong-Mar, was in the crowd outside the "Today" studio at Rockefeller Plaza and also was yelling about how the Internal Revenue Service was corrupt and ruined his life, authorities said. He took out a knife and sliced at his wrists, police said.
"Today" show host Matt Lauer tweeted: "Sorry, a man attempted to harm himself with a knife." Lauer also explained the situation to viewers.
Police and plaza security guards quickly subdued him and took him into custody, authorities and witnesses said. Some bystanders in the crowd were treated for exposure to blood. Police took the man to a hospital where his mental health was being evaluated. His injuries were not life threatening. The man's last known address was in Queens.
Authorities said the man's behavior was not believed to have been caught on television.
"I saw him take slice after slice. I saw the blood gushing," witness Kellie Ostransky told The New York Post. Ostransky, who lives near Phoenix, was in town to celebrate her birthday with her twin sister, the newspaper reported.
Lauer later sent another Twitter message that read: "All secure on the plaza after a scary incident. Thanks to our security team and the NYPD."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.