A man who claimed to be God rammed a stolen landscaping truck into the WMAR television station Tuesday, according to police and employees, barricading himself inside the building for several hours as journalists scrambled to cover their own story from the suburban streets outside.
The incident shut down the station’s Towson neighborhood, leaving a school and several businesses on alert until the 29-year-old suspect was captured. Police would not name the man, whom they said they found armed with a golf club and watching coverage of the incident from inside the station. They said they believe he is mentally ill.
No one was injured, authorities said, but the scene drew national attention as television correspondents found themselves on the other side of the news.
Baltimore County police apprehended a man who crashed into the WMAR-TV news station building after stealing a truck and barricading himself in a second floor editing room, officials confirmed.
The suspect stole an truck from a State Highway Administration subcontractor at about noon, police said. Police also recovered several machetes, believed to belong to the workers from whom he stole the truck.
According to witnesses, the man repeatedly tried to get inside the WMAR-TV building. ABC2 News investigative reporter Brian Kuebler tweeted ” suspect tried to get in building screaming LET ME IN and said he was God.”
Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said it was clear the man was mentally disturbed.
“The individual was ranting and raving incoherent statements. It was clear from the very beginning we were dealing with an emotionally-disturbed subject,” Johnson said.
During an afternoon news conference, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said the man wanted to be let in, claimed to be “God” and rammed into the building.