What is it that compels people in Towson to crash their vehicles into buildings near or on York Road? This past May, Vladimir Mehul Baptiste – a 28-year-old mentally disturbed Parkville man who called himself “God” – drove a stolen landscaping truck into the lobby of WMAR-TV’s ABC2 news station in Towson and then barricaded himself inside for several hours of social media tweeting before surrendering to authorities. On July 25, a Subaru Forester made a “pit stop” at Andy Nelson’s Barbecue in the 1100 block of York Road in Cockeysville, destroying picnic tables and the front entrance steps, and injuring seven people. A few years ago, I recall someone crashed their car halfway through the Towson Town Center parking garage, the dangling vehicle startling shoppers across the lot at Trader Joe’s. And now today, a 48-year-old woman crashed her SUV into the Drumcastle Center, the Baltimore County Department of Health facility that sits directly across the street from the WMAR-TV/ABC2 News station in the 6400 block of York Road. Following is the Police report from the Baltimore County government’s web site. – Tom Warner (BOL)
A 48-year-old woman was charged this morning with failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision after she drove her SUV into the Baltimore County Drumcastle Center in Precinct 6/Towson.
The crash occurred around 7:40 a.m. An investigation by the Towson precinct shows that the driver of the Toyota RAV4, Hiwot Arbi, of the 900 block of Gladway Road, 21220, was driving through the Drumcastle parking lot at a high rate of speed, preparing to park, when she struck an unoccupied parked vehicle — a gold Chevrolet Blazer. The Blazer rotated and struck another unoccupied parked vehicle. The Toyota continued at an apparent high rate of speed, struck the curb and became airborne before crashing through the building.
Arbi and a female passenger suffered minor injuries but refused transport to local hospitals.
One woman who was inside the building at the time of the crash — a 45-year-old county Social Services worker — suffered non life-threatening injuries and was transported by ground to Sinai Hospital.
County building engineers who responded to inspect the Drumcastle Center, 6401 York Road, found the damage superficial.
About 860 state and county employees work at the Drumcastle Center, but only a fraction of these employees had arrived at work when the crash occurred. The building was evacuated immediately following the crash. Employees and visitors were allowed to return to the building as soon as the Toyota was removed from the building and the building deemed safe by inspectors. The section of the building in the immediate vicinity of the hole caused by the crash remains off limits, pending the repair.
Related Cars-Crashing-Into-Towson-Buildings Links:
A Photo Essay by Patrick Joust
(Baltimore Magazine, July 2014)
Patrick Joust is a librarian I work with at the Enoch Pratt Central Library. Whenever he’s not helping the good citizens of Baltimore with their queries, tech-savvy Patrick can be spotted around town with his collection of cameras, his discerning eye capturing the broken-down beauty of landscapes most Baltimoreans turn a blind eye to during daylight. – Tom Warner (BoL)
A freight train passes by row homes on the edge of Cherry Hill while the headlights of waiting cars shine through. –Photography by Patrick Joust
What is it about the night that intrigues us so? The darkness, the stillness, the glimpses of interior lives seen through illuminated windows: It all seems so pregnant with possibility compared to the flat brightness of day.
Baltimore photographer Patrick Joust excels at capturing the romance and danger of the Baltimore night with an unflinching gaze and elegant use of chiaroscuro reminiscent of painters like Edward Hopper.
Like stills from a modern film noir, his shots hint at something ominous lurking just out of frame, as if the heavy calm is about to be broken, but by what is left up to the viewer’s imagination. – Introduction by Amy Mulvihill