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Soldier in Baltimore County barricade at National Guard facility is now in custody

A soldier who barricaded himself inside a National Guard facility in Baltimore County for several hours was taken into custody safely. (Ian Duncan, Baltimore Sun video)

A Special Forces soldier entered a closed National Guard armory building in Baltimore County on Monday morning, authorities said, setting off an alarm and starting a standoff with heavily armed police that went on for several hours.

The soldier was safely taken into custody Monday afternoon, Baltimore County police said. They said he is likely to face trespassing charges.

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The soldier tripped an alarm at the Gunpowder Military Reservation about 11 a.m., Maryland National Guard spokesman Col. Charles S. Kohler said. The Army called Baltimore County police for help.

Because police didn't know whether the soldier had access to weapons stored at the armory, they sent a tactical team and a negotiation team.

"The police were taking every precaution," Kohler said.

The 244-acre facility and training grounds off Notchcliff Road houses a firing range, a navigation course and obstacles.

The man turned out to be unarmed and did not have access to the weapons, which were locked with a code, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said. The soldier eventually agreed to come out of the building, Armacost said.

The soldier was sent for a medical evaluation, Armacost said.

The soldier's identity has not been released, but Kohler said he is a member of B Company, 2nd battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, which is based at the facility.

Special Forces soldiers are trained to carry out complex missions including counterterrorism operations, guerrilla warfare and efforts to train foreign fighters.

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Most Special Forces units are part of the active-duty Army, but the 19th and 20th groups are in the National Guard. The 20th Special Forces Group, headquartered in Alabama, has units in Maryland and seven other states.

Kohler said National Guard leaders will assess whether the incident revealed any weaknesses in the facility's security.

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