WMAR Suspect in Custody; ‘Mentally Ill’ Man Was ‘Watching TV News’ While Barricaded

By Merrill Knox 

wmar truckLaw enforcement in Baltimore has taken a “mentally ill” man who rammed a truck through the station’s front door and barricaded himself inside for nearly five hours Tuesday into custody.

“We sometimes have to balance the need to let the public know about an incident with the reality of what was taking place under the police view,” Baltimore county executive Kevin Kamenetz said at a press conference that began around 4:40 p.m. “In this case, we had a mentally ill suspect who had commandeered a TV station and was watching TV news while the police were assessing the situation. So the police made a determination that we would not report anything to the press while he was actively watching the news to avoid escalating the situation.”

No injuries were reported in the incident. Although they had not yet been cleared to return to the building, WMAR returned to live broadcasting from the street in front of the station around 4:30 p.m. — with help from a Scripps sister station, KNXV in Phoenix. The station has not yet returned to the airwaves, but is currently streaming coverage online. (>Update: the station was back on the air as of about 5 p.m.)


Shortly before the station went back on the air, WMAR reporter Christian Schaffer posted a Vine of the truck hitting the station to Twitter: