Nearly four years after he rammed a truck through the lobby of Baltimore’s ABC affiliate, a man identifying himself as Vladimir Baptiste is apologizing for the attack and providing explanations for why he did it.
In May 2014, Baptiste stole a large landscaping truck and drove it through the glass lobby of WMAR-TV in Towson, Maryland. No one was injured in the incident, but news anchor Jamie Costello told media crews that day it was a terrifying event, “All of a sudden I see this truck come through the glass. The first thing that went through my mind is this isn't happening. The second thing went through my mind is this isn’t happening. And the third thing went through my mind, this is happening. This is real.”
In a series of tweets posted December 29th and continuing through the start of 2018, Baptiste provides some perspective on how he ended up behind the wheel of a truck that crashed into the station, creating headlines across the country.
I wish I could write this whole journal entry I've been working on about what led to me going to ABC 2 News and did what I did. it's pretty long, writing it all on twitter would show my perspective, and what I was going through mentally.— Vladimir M. Baptiste (@VladziuBaptiste) December 30, 2017
Baptiste's recent tweets came from the same account used the day of the truck incident, the one he used to detail what he was doing inside the building. Calling the posts therapeutic, Baptiste details his struggles with addiction and mental illness. He says in the days leading up to the truck incident, there were family arguments and also hallucinations, including an episode where he believed Good Morning America host Robin Roberts was communicating with him. He says he was frightened so he left the house and eventually walked past the ABC station, doubling back when he realized the cameras and reporters might be able to help him.
Now I share my thoughts and some of my journal entries with my therapist, and counselors...for some reason I feel like that isn't enough. I feel better opening up on here because it makes me feel like I'm talking to myself..sounds a bit narcissistic but its therapeutic to me— Vladimir M. Baptiste (@VladziuBaptiste) December 30, 2017
“I thought if I can get into the T.V. station, I can expose the people trying to cause me harm, and harm to others,” he tweeted. “I thought I was going to close the multiverse where people get hurt. I was so far gone.”
When Baptiste crashed into the station, he was ranting incoherent statements according to police, who said they were dealing with a mentally disturbed subject. Reporter Cheryl Conner recalled him shouting, “I am God. I am God.” From inside the station, Baptiste then watched reporters deliver live reports about the situation.
Baptiste was charged with attempted murder but was eventually convicted on two counts of felony assault. He served no jail time. Instead, prosecutors tell Circa he spent just one year and nine months in a Maryland state mental facility before being moved to a residential rehabilitation program as part of a conditional release in early 2016.
At the start of 2018, it seems Baptiste is looking for forgiveness, tweeting, “My utmost apology to ABC2News and its employees.”
My utmost Apology to ABC2NEWS and its employees— Vladimir M. Baptiste (@VladziuBaptiste) January 2, 2018
Circa reached out to ABC2 for reaction to the apology and Baptiste's tweets. We've not yet heard back.