Police have taken a man who allegedly rammed a truck into a Baltimore television station and barricaded himself inside the building into custody.
According to the Baltimore County police, no one was injured in the incident that started just before noon when the suspect smashed a stolen truck into the ABC affiliate’s lobby and, armed with a golf club, made his way to the second floor.
Police responded with an hours long search of the evacuated building.
Police said the man they took into custody was watching television at the station during the public safety personnel response. Officials believe the man is mentally ill.
Individual was ranting and raving incoherent statements, and is believed to be mentally ill. ^CB— BACO Public Safety (@BACOPoliceFire) May 13, 2014
Baltimore County police said the suspect is being given medical treatment.
Baltimore’s ABC affiliate WMAR (ABC2) reported the vehicle, reportedly a stolen maintenance truck, smashed through its lobby just before noon. The driver, wearing a backpack, then entered the building as the station’s news director screamed for everyone in the newsroom to get out.
ABC2 news reporter Brian Kuebler provided a first-hand account:
So here is my first hand reporter's account (odd btw): suspect tried to get in building screaming LET ME IN and said he was God. 1/2 #Team2— Brian Kuebler (@BrianfromABC2) May 13, 2014
A hole the size of several garage doors could be seen in the front of the building Tuesday afternoon.
Early on, WMAR reported its staff was accounted for and anchor Jamie Costello told WJZ:
"I could see glass, the whole wall was going through. Then I could see the beginning of the truck. Everybody was in utter disbelief of what was going on right there at that second. I don't know how in the world we got away with nobody getting hurt. Because that lobby is packed all the time."
When police officers arrived, the suspect was not in the vehicle, according to CBS affiliate WJZ.
During an afternoon news conference that WBAL, the local NBC affiliate reported, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Elisa Armacost said officials didn’t know if the suspect is armed or where he is.
This was posted on WMAR’s Facebook page shortly after the incident began:
Twitter user @KellyfromABC2, described on the account as ABC2’s news director, tweeted this image:
Can't really tell too much but that was our entrance. There is now a truck in the lobby. pic.twitter.com/py1FhqK4JY— KellyfromABC2 (@KellyfromABC2) May 13, 2014
A nearby school, St. Pius X, was placed on lockdown, and according to WBAL Radio students are being dismissed with police assistance.