In Money Monster, a disgruntled investor holds George Clooney and Julia Roberts hostage live on television. A similar scenario almost played out for a Baltimore station when a guy dressed in a panda suit and a surgical mask waltzed into their studio to make demands.
According to NBC News, an unidentified 25-year-old entered WBFF-TV's lobby with a flash drive and what appeared to be a bomb strapped to his chest. He claimed to have vital information on a government cover-up involving "black holes and the sun."
"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," said WBFF news director Mike Tomko, who happened to be downstairs. "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."
After the intruder made the bomb threats, security guard Jourel Apostolidies secretly dialed 911 and got his co-workers to evacuate the building. SWAT soon showed up and tried making negotiations. When he walked outside, authorities demanded he show his hands but he refused and kept marching towards them. That’s when officers opened fire, hitting him at least three times. He is listed in stable condition and is expected to survive.
Police inspected the bomb only to find that it was actually just a bunch of chocolate bars wrapped in foil. There were "wires attached with a mother board" and more wires "running down the sleeve of a jacket emulating a detonator," Baltimore P.D. spokesman T.J. Smith said.
Well, that’s one way to get your message heard. Maybe next time just follow Julian Assange’s lead and upload the files to a website. Everybody knows it’s true if it’s on the internet.