TV Station Security Pays Off in Bizarre Standoff
- By Sydny Shepard
- Apr 29, 2016
Regularly scheduled programming was disrupted in Baltimore, Maryland on April 28 when a costumed man, outfitted with a vest that seemed to be explosive, walked into the front lobby of a TV station and demanded the materials on a flash drive be aired. What would follow would be a bizarre standoff between Baltimore Police and the 25-year-old.
Around 1 p.m., the man entered into the front lobby vestibule at a building on Baltimore’s TV Hill, the home of Fox 45, Fox News’ Baltimore affiliate. The security guard at the front desk was able to deem the man, dressed in an animal costume that lay over a bulky vest with protruding wires, dangerous and triggered the silent alarm under the desk to warn those in the building to evacuate.
During a live Periscope video filmed by Fox 45 assistant news director Casey Clark, it was learned that the station had been recently targeted in unrelated events that involved broken windows. As a result, the management decided to increase security around the building, an action they are certainly thankful for now.
As the building was being evacuated, the man remained in the lobby area. The security guard did not grant him access to the rest of the building. Around 3 p.m., the man walked out of the front vestibule toward police, ignoring their commands for him to get down, or raise his hands.
The man was shot, according to police, after he defied repeated commands. He did not receive immediate medical treatment, due to the presence of the alleged bomb. Instead, the police sent two bomb squad robots to clear the man of his costume and the explosive device.
The robots delivered the suspected explosive vest to a vacant area of a parking lot where the Baltimore bomb squad was able to determine that the object was made from a flotation device, candy bars, duct tape and the mother board of a fire extinguisher. Police believe he threaded a wire through the sleeve of the animal costume to give the appearance of a detonator in his hand.
Once the man was cleared of dangerous objects, he was taken to the nearest hospital to receive treatment for the injuries sustained in the standoff. His condition is “serious, but stable” and he is expected to survive, according to Baltimore police.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.