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Official: Suspect in TV station crash in custody

A huge hole remained in the front of WMAR-TV in Towson, Md., after a 29-year-old man drove into the lobby.

Jose Magana/reuters

A huge hole remained in the front of WMAR-TV in Towson, Md., after a 29-year-old man drove into the lobby.

TOWSON, Md. — A man claiming to be God rammed a truck through the front of a Baltimore-area television station Tuesday, leaving a gaping hole as reporters and other staff fled the building.

Police arrested a suspect about five hours later, officials said at a news conference. ‘‘It’s very clear the subject is suffering from emotional or mental health issues,’’ Police Chief James Johnson said. The identity of the 29-year-old man was not immediately disclosed.

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Michael Marion was in his office off WMAR-TV’s lobby when he heard someone rattling violently against the security door about 11:45 a.m. The man demanded to be let in, claiming ‘‘I am God, I am God,’’ Marion said.

‘‘I heard a series of crashes,’’ Marion said. ‘‘The next thing, I looked in the lobby, and the only thing between the truck and the lobby was the final door. I heard one final crash. I looked through the door, and by then the truck was pulling in the lobby.’’

A hole the size of several garage doors could be seen in the front of the two-story building, with a newsroom and studio on the first floor. About 120 people work there, according to the station owner, the E.W. Scripps Co.

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