him through a robot designed to detect explosives, but the man refused to cooperate, police said.
Police eventually approached the man, removed his garb, put him into a van and then left the scen
The man had told a TV security guard that he had information similar to the “Panama Papers” offshore banking scandal that he wanted broadcast. Police evacuated the building during an afternoon standoff
Mike Tomko, news director of WBFF-TV, says he encountered the oddly dressed man in the station’s lobby.
“He talked to me and was wearing what appears to be a full-body white panda suit, surgical mask and sunglasses,” Tomko said. “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 flash drive contained videos of the man talking to the camera about what he believed were government conspiracies, WBA:L-TV reports.
Security guard Jourel Apostolidies said the man was wearing a light vest in addition to the animal garb.
The guard said he alerted the station about the need to evacuate staff, then sat down and talked with the man, according to WBAL.
“I’m not going to say I saw a bomb, what I saw was an attempt to make a fake bomb,” Apostolidies said.
According to WBBF, a vehicle was set on fire in the TV station parking lot before the bomb threat was made.