Man pointing 'Nerf gun' at his head causes bomb scare at Martin's West
BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WBFF) – A bomb squad responded to Martin’s West in Baltimore County on Friday, after a reported threat.
The building reopened around 11:40 a.m. after the all-clear was given, police confirmed.
The threat disrupted an event being attended by many political and business leaders; the Md. Washington Minority Companies Association (MWMCA) annual spring breakfast at Martin's West.
Those in attendance included the Baltimore City Police Commissioner and mayor.
FOX45's Jennifer GIlbert was also in attendance.
"There was a very large event happening this morning," she described from the scene. "There were about 1,000 people here including the mayor and police commissioner...after emceeing the event I was at the podium, gathering my belongings and a man came up to me and asked if he could speak to the crowd. I said, 'I'm sorry, the event is over, you'll have to speak to the gentleman who is the organizer of the event'. At that point I got the sense that something was a little off."
As Gilbert gathered her belongings and stepped off to the side, she saw the man pull out a Nerf gun and point it at the crowd, from the podium on the stage.
Most people in the room were mingling and talking, and the man went mostly unnoticed.
"There were high ranking members of Baltimore City Police Department here, I went over to them and said, 'Gentleman, we have a situation'," Gilbert described "Those commanders and other officers that were here from Baltimore City immediately went into action, they started talking to this gentleman and tried to find out what the situation was. At this point he was up on a chair, at one point he was on a chair pointing the Nerf gun at his head."
Gilbert added, "The police officers, in talking with him, determined that he was trying to make some sort of point about mental health. In the course of that conversation he also indicated that he had placed several packages around the building."
T.J. Smith, chief spokesperson for the Baltimore City Police department, was also in attendance and described the man as having a "behavioral crisis."
Baltimore County Police were called to the scene to handle the investigation and the man was taken out in handcuffs.
Gilbert described the man's actions, "He was very belligerent and actually kicked the officer, used the door to push at the officer as they were putting him into the police cruiser."
Bomb sniffing dogs were brought to the scene, to sweep the building.
The identity of the man and any charging information has not been released at this time.
Photos courtesy T.J. Smith / @TJSmithMedia