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Witnesses Discuss Blogger’s Standoff With Police

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The man who broadcast his standoff with Baltimore police remains held without bond. For the first time, we’re hearing from witnesses.

Mike Hellgren is looking into the unusual confrontation.

The window is broken. You can see shattered glass and overturned furniture at James MacArthur’s home in North Baltimore. Police keep watch outside, days after the blogger who describes himself as an “urban correspondent” broadcast his standoff with cops online. The unusual act is gaining nationwide attention.

Officers were serving a routine warrant related to a gun charge.

“You guys could kick through the door right now if you want,” MacArthur said during the standoff. “Whatever. You’re in control here.”

“As minor as we both agree that this warrant is, why don’t we come outside?” a police officer responded.

Police say MacArthur–known as the Baltimore Spectator–made what they considered threatening comments on the Internet. They evacuated neighbors as the SWAT team swarmed the street.

“It was something out of the movies where the SWAT team, they’re shielding you, putting you into a SWAT truck and telling you that it’s bulletproof,” said neighbor Diamond Hardy.

“They were right there with guns and shotguns,” said neighbor Ulys Patterson. “I think he was paranoid. All they wanted to do was arrest him.”

“This is a ratings bonanza, a smash hit,” MacArthur said during the standoff.

“We’re just waiting for you when you come out, Mr. MacArthur,” police responded.

MacArthur did gain hundreds of new Twitter followers. At least 10,000 people listened to the standoff and he timed his surrender to get publicity.

“The network news is coming on at 11. Let’s wrap this up for the networks, right?” he said.

Police say they also found a shotgun inside the home and ammunition and that could result in more charges against MacArthur.

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