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WMAR-TV guard commended for quick actions as truck crashed into lobby

Posted at 11:33 PM, May 13, 2014

Before Tuesday, the scariest incident Anita Wilson encountered as a security guard at WMAR-TV was a crazed deer breaking through the glass and into the news station lobby in November 2012.

On Tuesday however, a man claiming he was God tried to break into the station.

Round-up: WMAR-TV truck crash, barricade coverage

“He was yanking at the door, and he was yelling that he was God and he insisted to come in,” Wilson said.

Wilson has worked as a security guard for 10 years, the last five spent with U.S. Security Associates protecting ABC2. She followed her training, preventing the man from coming in the front door and immediately calling 911.

“I thought he was leaving,” Wilson said. “You didn’t think he was going to drive the truck up to the door.”

The man, later identified by his mother as Vladimir Baptiste, 27, then drove a stolen Ford F550 truck into the side of the building where Wilson sits. Her desk, which borders the wall to the right of the front door, was knocked off its hinges.

She began hollering to the newsroom for staff members to get out through the back door as Baptiste became hell-bent on crashing the truck through the front. Baptiste would spend the next four hours holed up in a video editing suite on the second floor of the building.

The building was evacuated with no injuries to Channel 2 personnel. Wilson was commended for her quick actions by Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson at a press conference at about 5 p.m. after Baptiste was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation.  

“I commend the employees the officials of Channel 2 News,” Johnson said. “Certainly, they acted professionally and bravely under some very difficult circumstances. Certainly, the work of the security officer, at this point in time, we believe is commendable.”

Wilson said she would be taking Wednesday off.

“I thank God nobody got hurt,” she said.