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Parkville Man Charged in Channel 2 Building Crash, Denied Bail

The man's mother reportedly said he was supposed to be in drug class at the time.

Vladimir Mehul Baptiste (Credit: Baltimore County Police Department)
Vladimir Mehul Baptiste (Credit: Baltimore County Police Department)

A Parkville man faces charges of attempted murder, assault, theft, burglary and other offenses in connection with an incident at the Channel 2 building in Towson on Tuesday, police said.

Vladimir Mehul Baptiste, 28, of the 1700 block of White Oak Road, is accused of stealing a vehicle and crashing it into the building that housed the WMAR TV station on York Road around noon on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Baltimore County Police Department.

"I could see glass, the whole wall was going through," WMAR anchor Jamie Costello told WJZ. "Then I could see the beginning of the truck." 

As a result of the incident, employees evacuated the building, tactical teams were called in to investigate and the nearby St. Pius X School was on lockdown Tuesday afternoon.

Police said nobody was injured in the incident, which caused part of York Road to be closed for more than five hours as law enforcement worked to find Baptiste inside the building and bring him safely into custody. After arresting Baptiste, police said he was taken for an emergency medical evaluation.

Baptiste has been charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder; three counts of first-degree assault; third-degree burglary; fourth-degree burglary; malicious destruction of property greater than $1,000; unlawful taking of a motor vehicle; and theft less than $1,000.

"I don't know how in the world we got away with nobody getting hurt," Costello told WJZ. "We were attacked."

The 28-year-old suspect, who has had problems with substance abuse since his early twenties, was supposed to be at a drug rehab class on Tuesday, his mother told ABC 2 News. She said he graduated from Parkville High School and had been training for a career as an x-ray technician before drugs took over at age 21, the news station reported.

Police did not say whether drugs were involved in Tuesday's events. Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said that Baptiste exhibited signs of mental illness including rants and incoherent speech. 

"It was clear...we were dealing with an emotionally disturbed subject," Johnson said.

Baptiste is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $750,000 bail, the Baltimore County Police Department reported Wednesday. At a bail review hearing, a judge ruled that he would be held without bail, police said in an update after 3 p.m.

Related: Man Arrested After Crashing Stolen Vehicle into Channel 2 News Building

Heywood May 14, 2014 at 03:05 PM
He will be out and roaming the streets again in short order.
Covington May 15, 2014 at 12:46 PM
Unfortunately, you are probably right. Hopefully, he will get the medical treatment he desperately needs and perhaps with all the publicity, it may happen.....Appears this is overdue !

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