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BPD: Man attempts to set himself on fire amidst homeless encampment eviction

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Posted at 10:00 PM, Oct 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-10 08:55:17-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Police say one of the people at a homeless encampment under Interstate 83 tried to set himself on fire as officers tried to move people out.

At approximately 11:41 p.m., officers witnessed the incident at East Saratoga and North Gay Street.

According to Baltimore City Police, the man was experiencing a behavioral crisis.

This incident comes as the city served eviction notices to residents of the homeless encampment under 83 at Saratoga and Gay streets to clear the area for the Baltimore Farmers' Market Sunday.

The encampment, known as Tent City, has occupied the area for the past week. Homeless families and advocates are protesting over lack of affordable housing in Baltimore.

The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

Here is a full statement from the Mayor's Office on the clearing of the homeless encampment.

"Following a week of ongoing conversations and several attempts by the Mayor's Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) to provide shelter options to less than a dozen demonstrators, the decision was made to demobilize the encampment, clearing individuals camped out at the site of the Farmers Market. While some demonstrators did accept outreach and shelter services, others did not.

Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Harrison was in constant communication with the Baltimore City Law Department and the actions used were aligned with the City's notification protocol ensuring that the situation was handled constitutionally and ethically by BPD.

To be clear, MOHS worked with this group for days to no avail. As a last resort, the City enacted a public safety response because the group repeatedly refused services and specialized shelter set up just for them and were becoming hostile towards City employees.

MOHS will continue to work with individuals experiencing homelessness that were a part of this group."