( 4UMF NEWS ) Man In Panda Suit Threatens To Blow Up TV Station:
A Baltimore television station evacuated Thursday afternoon after a man walked into the lobby and threatened to blow up the building.
Employees gathered in the parking lot outside the Fox 45 building as the man, dressed in some sort of bulky body suit with a face mask on, stood inside the building.
“He walked in and ripped open his shirt and said he has and bomb and if we didn’t broadcast what was on his thumb drive, he’d blow the place up,” one witness said as WJLA-TV broadcast live video from the scene.
The fire department arrived on scene after a car was set on fire. That blaze was put out. The suspect apparently set his own car on fire before running into the building.
As the standoff continued, arriving police appeared to fire several shots of some kind towards the suspect.
Employees were told to move back from the building. The station said some 100 to 125 people are generally in at work when the chaos broke out some after 2 p.m.
The man had reportedly made threats at the station before, according to WBFF-TV News Director Mike Tomko.
“I came down at one point not knowing the person was in the lobby, near the vestibule area. He talked to me and was wearing what appears to be a full body white panda suit, surgical mask and sunglasses,” Tomko told the station. “He had a flash drive, said he had information he wanted to get on the air. He compared it to the information found in the Panama Papers.
“I told him, ‘I can’t let you in, you’re going to have to leave the flash drive here and slide it through the opening.’ He wouldn’t do that. Apparently he had made some threats before.”
The building, home to several TV stations, is located at 2000 W. 41st in northwest Baltimore.
The bizarre plot mimics Money Monster, a new movie due out May 12 that stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts. According to a description of the flick on IMDb, “financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an explosive situation when an irate investor takes over their studio.”
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