Baltimore police arrested a 29-year-old man Tuesday accused of ramming a stolen vehicle through the doors of a television station and barricading himself on the second floor.
Shortly before 5 p.m., a police tactical team entered WMAR, a Scripps owned station, and found the intruder, whom the police chief described as “emotionally disturbed,” watching news coverage of the incident.
The unidentified man was carrying a golf club but was taken into custody without injury to himself or officers.
The arrested brought an end to a nearly five-hour incident that police handled as if dealing with an armed suspect.
The intrusion caused employees to evacuate the building and decamp to a church, where they covered the incident remotely. A nearby campus, St. Pius X School, was locked down.
The incident began about noon when the man stole an unattended truck and drove to the station, police said. When a security guard denied him entry, he rammed the building and crashed through its the doors.
Once inside, he made his way to the second floor.
“The individual was ranting and raving,” said Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson. “It was clear from the beginning we were dealing with an emotionally disturbed subject.”
Police withheld information during the incident because they were able to see the man watching television reports.
WMAR-TV News Director Kelly Groft told The Associated Press in a phone interview that when the truck began ramming the lobby around noon Tuesday, she screamed for everyone in the newsroom to get out.
WMAR staff took to Twitter to deliver information. According to Reporter Brian Kuebler, the suspect drove a landscape truck.
Kuebler tweeted that he saw the suspect screaming “let me in” and saying he is God.
A hole the size of several garage doors could be seen in the front of the building.
WMAR is a Scripps station and a sister station of ABC Action News in Tampa.