Man in Animal Onesie Who Threatened to Bomb TV Station Was Actually Wearing Chocolate Bars Wired Together
The man who was wearing a "onesie panda outfit" and surgical mask when he walked into a Baltimore TV station on Thursday and threatened to blow the place up was not wearing a bomb but chocolate bars wrapped in aluminum foil and duct taped to a flotation device, police have said.
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Alex Brizzi, 25, alleged to be wearing an explosive device when walked into a building for Fox affiliate WBFF on Thursday afternoon and was shot by the Baltimore police.
He is now in serious but stable condition and is expected to survive.
According to a police briefing Thursday night, Brizzi was wearing a red flotation device with chocolate bars wrapped in aluminum foil connected by wiring that were made to look like explosives.
Running down the sleeve of his costume onesie, described as either a panda or a hedgehog, were wires connected to a mock detonator in his hand, police said.
"It does not appear the device is capable of actual explosives," Baltimore Police representative T.J. Smith said.
On Thursday afternoon, Brizzi allegedly walked into the lobby of WBFF with a flash drive.
He handed the flash drive to the security guard and said he needed the station to broadcast its contents, "and then displayed what appeared to be wires and some other things inside of his jacket that appeared to be some type of explosive device," Smith said in a police briefing.
The security guard then activated a silent alarm under his desk and the station was evacuated while Brizzi remained inside the lobby.
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Though police have not said what was on the drive, the security guard told CBS Baltimore that "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."
As police, fire, arson, bomb squad and SWAT teams reached the scene, a car outside the station was engulfed in flames. Police said it was determined to belong to the man.
"There was a rag inside of the gas tank area of the vehicle," Smith said and clarified that the car did not explode. "No type of explosion, no type of bomb detonated at any time."
Brizzi later left the building and police reported that he ignored orders by the SWAT team outside. They were joined by bomb squad, police, fire and arson teams.
He was then shot by a counter sniper. Smith said at least three shots were fired, though Brizzi's dad, Ed, told CBS Baltimore he was shot four times, including once in the neck.
Brizzi was wounded, but not killed, and was still not taking orders when a bomb robot scanned him for at least an hour and removed the animal costume and mask.
He can be seen in a harrowing Facebook picture wearing the same mask with the Chinese character "love" written across the front. It appears to be part of a costume from the Japanese anime, Naruto.
"He's just had a mental break down," father Ed Brizzi told CBS Baltimore, "and probably what happened was ... he has no way of doing a bomb what he was doing was probably just putting himself out there and thinking that he wanted to die."
Brizzi, who is still in the hospital, has not yet been charged by Baltimore Police.