TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — We’re learning more about what led to a man crashing through the front of WMAR-TV, starting an hours-long barricade situation.
Derek Valcourt has more on what the suspect’s mother is saying about Tuesday’s terrifying events.
Twenty-eight-year-old Vladimir Baptiste was ranting and raving incoherently Tuesday just before noon as he demanded to be let in the front door of WMAR-TV and, when security refused to let him in, he got into a truck he had stolen moments earlier from a nearby landscaping crew and used it to ram through and into the TV station’s front lobby.
“Our news director, Kelly Groff, came running in, screaming, `Everybody out’ and we just high-tailed it,” said Jamie Costello.
Police say in the lobby, Baptiste discharged a fire extinguisher and then ran into a second floor office where he watched news coverage of his own incident, wrote messages and taped them onto the windows facing out.
Among them, “I am God almighty!” Another read, “[expletive] your Multiverses! You have created to hurt my people!” and another, “i am here to save you all from the energies.”
SWAT teams eventually entered the building and used flash bombs to take Baptiste into custody.
His mother, who lives in Parkville, declined to speak with WJZ but told our radio partners at WNEW her son had been struggling with mental issues and had been in and out of hospitals since July of last year.
“He just left Sinai Hospital three weeks ago and I told them `Don’t release him.’ They thought he was okay. He played that he’s okay but he’s not okay,” said May Baptiste.
The station now faces a massive cleanup but employees remain grateful no one was hurt.
The suspect and his family are Haitian immigrants but have been living in Parkville for several years.
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