Calls For Help From WMAR-TV Released After Man Rams Truck Into Station
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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The frantic 911 calls from WMAR-TV are released as a man begins ramming his truck into the lobby of the television station.
Derek Valcourt has more on the just released and dramatic audio recordings.
Calls for help began as soon as the staff WMAR saw the man at their station acting strangely.
WMAR employees knew something wasn’t right with the man, later identified as 28-year-old Vladimir Baptiste, who was banging on their locked front door calling himself God and demanding to be let in. A security guard was among the first to call 911 for help.
Caller: “I need the police at 6400 York Road at Channel 2.”
911 Operator: “Where are we coming to in the building, ma’am?”
Caller: “Right in the front. There’s a man that is insisting… he’s now trying to yank the door open. Can you hear him yelling?”
911 Operator: “What’s doing out there?”
Caller: “He’s just out here yelling, yanking on the door insisting that we let him in.”
Video shows that Baptiste leaves, but returns in a truck police say he had stolen from a nearby landscaping crew moments earlier. At this point, WMAR’s general manager Bill Hooper calls 911.
“We’re at WMAR-TV and there’s a guy trying to drive into our building,” said Hooper. “You need to get here quickly, he’s ramming the building.”
Eventually, Baptiste’s truck breaks through the doors and the calls for help continue.
“We just called, he’s now in the building. He has driven his truck into the building. We still don’t see any police,” Hooper said.
“He has drove up into Channel 2 with a truck and all my coworkers, we got out as fast as we could, but I don’t know how many people might be still in that building,” a security guard said. “We need as many units as you can send. That man is crazy.”
According to police reports, after the suspect got out of the truck in the lobby, he discharged a fire extinguisher into the air and then ran up to a second floor office, where he began watching television news coverage of what he had just done.
911 Operator: “Does anyone need an ambulance?”
Caller: “We don’t need an ambulance right now, we need protection.”
After hours of surveillance, police eventually raided the building and took Baptiste into custody. Police say it was apparent to them Baptiste was mentally unstable. His family says his mental health had him in and out of hospitals for nearly a year.
Baptiste is being held without bail as a public safety threat. He’s facing a long list of charges in connection with his attack on Channel 2.
Police say it’s still unclear why he chose to attack Channel 2.
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