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May 14, 2014

Man rams truck into TV station

TOWSON, Md. — A man claiming to be God rammed a truck through the front of a Baltimore-area television station Tuesday, leaving a gaping hole as reporters and other staff fled the building.

Police arrested a suspect about five hours after the incident, officials said at a news conference. The suspect was not injured but was taken for medical treatment, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said.

“It’s very clear the subject is suffering from emotional or mental health issues,” Police Chief James Johnson said. The identity of the 29-year-old man was not immediately disclosed.

Michael Marion was in his office off WMAR-TV’s lobby when he heard someone rattling violently against the security door about 11:45 a.m. The man demanded to be let in, claiming “I am God, I am God,” Marion said.

“I heard a series of crashes,” Marion said. “The next thing, I looked in the lobby, and the only thing between truck and the lobby was the final door. I heard one final crash. I looked through the door, and by then the truck was pulling in the lobby.”

The station believed everyone inside evacuated safely, News Director Kelly Groft told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

“Once the lobby started to collapse, we knew it was time to get out,” Groft said. “He drove right through the doors and into the main area.”

However, an employee remained in the basement. During WMAR-TV’s evening newscast, Nic Hall said he didn’t realize what had happened until he was contacted by a co-worker who was offsite.

“I was in the basement 3 1/2 hours talking with police, letting them know the lay of the land,” Hall said.

Hall said he’d only worked at the station for two weeks.

“It was interesting. I’ll be here tomorrow.”

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