A Maryland man was arrested on May 13 after reportedly driving a landscaping
truck into a Towson building housing the WMAR television studio. Although
no one was injured in the incident, the crash sent journalists scrambling
to cover the crash after their studio was damaged.
Authorities report that the defendant, age 28, is facing multiple charges
of violent crimes including attempted second-degree murder and first-degree
assault as well as property crimes.
Authorities say it appears the defendant stole the work vehicle from a
landscaping site near the intersection of the Beltway and York Road. He
is accused of driving to the studio and attempting to enter. When he was
rebuked by a security officer, the man allegedly began pacing and exhibiting
strange behavior before confronting the guard again. After that interaction,
a witness reportedly saw the man walking back to the truck. Moments later,
the vehicle came crashing through the building’s lobby.
Officers say the man is thought to be mentally ill. Reports indicate that
the driver was claiming to be God when he rammed the vehicle into the
building. He allegedly got out of the vehicle and went into the building,
where he was eventually captured by officers. They found him watching
coverage of the crash inside the station while holding a golf club.
Criminal defendants who display obvious signs of mental illness may still
be charged with violent crimes. However, their courtroom strategies and
needs may be different from defendants who are not suffering from such
ailments. No matter their health status, defendants have the right to
a fair trial — and they deserve help in getting the treatment they need.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Man in custody after vehicle crashes into TV station in Towson” Alison Knezevich and Justin George, May. 14, 2014