Possibly armed man, claiming to be God, crashes truck into Maryland TV station
ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 13 (Reuters) - A possibly armed man who said he was God crashed a truck into a Maryland television news station on Tuesday and barricaded himself inside the building, police and witnesses said.
The man banged on the glass doors of WMAR-TV in Towson, asking to be let inside. When he was refused, he crashed a large commercial truck into the ABC affiliate's lobby at 11:45 a.m. (1545 GMT), station employees told CBS television.
A spokeswoman with the Baltimore County Police Department said officers evacuated 55 people from the building and urged others to avoid the area.
The E.W. Scripps Co, which owns the station, said that roughly 120 employees work in the building but only about half were present at the time and all were evacuated safely.
"Somehow we were able to get everyone out safely, while he was ramming in the front," an E.W. Scripps spokeswoman said.
Police said they were looking for the suspect inside the building after officers did not find him in the vehicle, which remained in the lobby of the station.
"We don't know who he is, and we certainly don't have any info as to what his motive is," police spokeswoman Elise Armacost told a news conference. She said the suspect may be armed but there were no reports of any shots being fired.
Maryland landscaping company Ashton Manor Environmental said in a statement one of its work vehicles was stolen, and they believe it was used to crash through the building.
Baltimore County Police said the vehicle was stolen around noon Tuesday and belonged to a State Highway Administration subcontractor, but didn't provide a company name. An online search showed Ashton Manor Environmental is listed in at least one contract document with the Maryland State Highway Administration.
Brian Kuebler, a reporter at the station, said on Twitter the suspect rammed the building three times with a landscaping truck.
He "tried to get in (the) building screaming 'LET ME IN!' and said he was God," according to Kuebler's Twitter post.
Michael Marion, a production manager at the station, told the local CBS affiliate he heard someone rattling the security door, screaming that he was God and trying to get in.
"I was trying to get his license number and that's when he turned into the alcove area and began ramming the building," Marion said.
The nearby St. Pius X School was on lockdown, though all the students and staff were safe, according to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.