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Man in animal suit wearing chocolate 'bomb vest' shot by police at Baltimore TV station

Edited as of Thu 19 May 2016 - 21:39
Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (17 votes)

Baltimore Police Department patch

Normally, a television station reports on the news, not become its top story. The Baltimore Sun and WJZ-TV 13 are reporting that a 25-year-old man from Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland wearing a full-body animal suit (claimed to be a "grey hedgehog onesie" by the station's security guard to WJZ-TV), combat boots and a surgical mask over his face was shot by police at the parking lot of Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned WBFF, Baltimore's Fox 45.

The incident occurred when the suspect first set fire to a car in the parking lot of WBFF with a burning gasoline-soaked rag in the gas tank and afterwards, entered the vestibule of WBFF. When approached by the station's on-duty security guard, he claimed to have information that needed to be shared with the station, and handed over a USB thumb drive containing a rambling manifesto about space and the government, as well as the end of the world, in a video file.

The guard, Jourael "Jay" Apostolides, said:

It pretty much had to do with anything with astronomy... black holes, the sun, about it being liquid and gas, and he just wanted to say that the government was wrong in thinking about the way they do when it comes to anything in space.

WBFF - Fox 45 Baltimore (2008 logo)

The suspect claimed to have a bomb vest on, which prompted the security guard to call 911; WBFF was evacuated, falling back into automated broadcast mode. When the Baltimore Police SWAT team arrived, the suspect was shot after refusing take his hands out of his pockets. Upon being wounded, the bomb disposal unit robot was driven over to inspect him. It was then revealed that his "bomb" was just a series of chocolate bars linked with wires to a smoke alarm's motherboard, all hidden within a life preserver, and had no explosive capabilities.

The suspect is alive, but in serious condition in hospital tonight and still uncooperative with police. There is no motive known at this time. With the station currently on lockdown, the General Manager of WBFF, William Fanshawe, has said they will either run the station from one of their mobile news vans, or drive 45 miles southwest to their sister station, WJLA-TV (ABC 7) in Washington, DC and operate it remotely from there. Strangely enough, this is not the first time a television station's studios in Baltimore have been attacked; an unrelated incident in 2014 regarding a mentally-ill man claiming to be God stole a truck and drove it into the studio building of cross-town station WMAR-TV (ABC 2).

I really hope this guy has absolutely no connection to our fandom...

Update (May 19)

The Suspect, identified by Baltimore Police as 25-year-old Alex Brizzi, has been indicted on charges of second-degree arson, first-degree malicious burning and threat of arson, as well as four counts of reckless endangerment and one count of possessing a phony destructive device, and has been found mentally competent by a psychologist to stand trial for his accused crimes.

Update (May 20) is reporting that Alex Brizzi, who suffered gunshot wounds from police snipers to his neck, leg, and buttocks, has been behaving in a "bizarre and dangerous" manner, and became upset over the April 26 Maryland Presidential Primaries between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, as well as breaking up with his girlfriend. It has been determined that his rant on the flash drive handed to Jouarel Apostolides had a segment on him stating he had become convinced that the world would end on June 3, 2016. His father Edward had stated his son (who resides in the basement of their home 10 miles southwest of Baltimore) had some sort of "mental breakdown" and had previously tried to overdose on the over-the-counter pain medication Aleve.

We at Flayrah News keep you notified of any updates to this story as they happen.



Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (7 votes)

The police will seize his computer, and promptly find furry art amongst hundreds of other types of images and data, including but not limited to: drug abuse, child pornography, rape, murder, satanic cults, Nazi Germany, and jaywalking. Tomorrow's headlines will read:

Man from 'furry fandom' linked to outrageous crimes

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

Drug abuse, child pornography, rape, murder, satanic cults, Nazi Germany, and jaywalking? There are furs who endorse every one of those and they still waltz around cons with impunity.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

I love how this comment escalated to jaywalking!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I remember one time a fursuiter got knocked over outside MFF. He came back a day later in a sling… and in suit. Dedication!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Hey I fell over spotting for a fursuiter and ended up in a sling. I wouldn't call that so much dedication as being accident prone.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

I doubt they are tied with the fandom. From the guard's statements it sounds like someone going manic. Speaking, sadly, from experience here.

Luckily I was tazed at the end of the whole ordeal, and not shot. Then again, when I went nuts I didn't go threatening a news studio either or claiming I had a bomb. So there are some differences in the situation at hand.

That projecting aside, Kigirumis are pretty popular outside the fandom as well, so his tie with the fandom is probably only to the extent of the word "animal costume" being used in articles surrounding it.

I'm glad that despite this event that everything was resolved, and no one died from the affair. This could have ended much worse than it did. Credit is due to the officers involved here.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

Well guys, if we keep blowing this up (no pun intended) within the fandom, then somebody from outside the fandom will find it, and they'll start calling him the "furry terrorist" sometimes the best thing to do is ignore it. It's not that important.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

This news story had 'blown up' at the time regardless of whether it was posted here or not.

Flayrah does sometimes cover news that surrounds animals and animal costumes even if the subject matter is not directly related to furry fandom. One of my most visited ones ended up being the one about the tradgedy that happened in Ohio when a suicidal man released his plethora of wild animals into the wild.

Just because the news story was posted here didn't make the guy a furry or insinuate he had ties to the fandom. If there were ties, the mainstream would ride that sensational wagon all the way into the sunset. Which is why they tied the animal costume to the story in the first place. Because "lunatic goes after news station" only gets you so far, to those in the news business, that's not news, that's just a fact of life (It's just fortunate that in many counties 'lunatics' aren't in some position of governmental power, just individuals. Because in some places that can very much be the case, and that is when things get really scary).

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Remember, news stories get frequently updated, as the first-to-publish mentality means the first articles are 99% wrong.

Further news stories and updates have changed the "furry costume" to a "animal onesie"... which makes people look off their rocker in the first place, eh?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I just reported the story as I saw it break on WXYZ-TV Channel 7 (their owner also owns Baltimore station WMAR-TV 2 and were covering it from there)... I'm not trying to incite division or drama, only report on relevant news with links to the fandom as it happens... and sadly, this one had a link in the form of an animal costume/onesie. I even ran it by GreenReaper to get his opinion on it, since he's the webmaster/chief editor/news director/whatever here, and he told me it was good to post (and I agree).

~ The Legendary RingtailedFox

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Ringtailed Foxread storiescontact (login required)

a freelance editor & writer and Fox-raccoon hybrid from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, interested in bicycle riding, reading and video games