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News Maryland Baltimore County Towson

County police release 911 calls in WMAR crash and barricade

Baltimore County police on Thursday released the 911 calls made by frantic WMAR employees after a man drove into the television news station's building this week.

Several callers described how the man crashed a truck though the front of the York Road station but said they did not know where he went. Several callers indicated they were calling from inside locked offices, worrying aloud about the safety of their colleagues.

No one was injured in the incident.

Tactical officers eventually found Vladimir Mehul Baptiste on the second floor, where he had been watching news broadcasts of the incident. The 28-year-old is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center on counts including three charges of attempted second-degree murder.

Before the crash, a woman inside the building called 911, complaining that a man was causing trouble outside.

"Can you hear him yelling?" she says. The operator asked what he was doing.

The caller responds that he's "out here yelling, yanking on the door, insisting we let him in."

She adds, "He will not leave."

Police said previously that Baptiste was mentally ill. They have not released a motive but said he told investigators he believed that he could close portals to dangerous alternate realities by entering the station.

Baptiste allegedly stole a large green truck belonging to a State Highway Administration contractor before stopping at the station. Police said he did not have weapons but did have a golf club with him when he was captured.

More calls came in after the truck slammed through the building's front entrance.

"Someone is trying to back a truck into our building," says Ron Snyder, a station employee.

"We have the police coming over there for a guy who was standing out there yelling," the operator replies. "Now he's trying to back a car into the building?"

The operator asks Snyder whether there are any injuries, and he simply responds, "He's in the building. Please hurry." Another person can be heard yelling in the background.

Another woman who called to report the crash tells the operator that she and her co-workers safely escaped, but she is concerned that there might be others still inside.

"I don't know how many people might still be in that building," she says. The 911 operator tells her officers are on the way.

"We need as many people as you can send. That man is crazy," the caller adds.

WMAR general manager Bill Hooper identifies himself on one call.

"He's been screaming, and banging doors," Hooper tells the operator. "Police are coming in. But they need to hurry. They are going to need more guys."

jkanderson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/janders5

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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