Baltimore Police Department responded to a hostage situation in a Burger King near the Washington Boulevard. Four people, including a child of 7 years old and the employees, were being held hostages in the restaurant by a suspect who ran into the local after being persecuted by the police.
The suspect crashed his car into the restaurant during the persecution. Police officers stated that they were chasing the suspect since he was linked to a rape case and he refused to pull his vehicle over.
A barricade was built around the area to avoid citizens crossing the zone.
The situation and parties involved
SWAT units responded to the situation, and the Director of Media Relations of the Baltimore Police Department has been updating the audience through social networks, Twitter and Periscope since the barricade is active and the situation is still tense.
The response of the public in social networks has been of support to authorities.
— T.J. Smith (@TJSmithMedia) July 17, 2016
The barricade situation started about 11 a.m. and police are working to communicate with the suspect to avoid the use of violence against him. There are no injuries reported at this time. Some additional emergency crews arrived at the Burger King, including paramedics.
The suspect is wanted
According to Smith, the Director of Media Relations, the suspect is wanted on a rape charge, and the police officers identified him while he was driving his car and did not pulled his car over when asked. This response led to a vehicle chase that ended with the suspect fleeing on foot.
The vehicle chase affected some other cars on the road, and when the suspect crashed into the restaurant, another vehicle was affected. Authorities stated that the driver of this second vehicle involved in the crash is being treated for minor injuries at a nearby health care center.
The authorities identified the suspect since the first moment they requested him to pull over his car. However, the Police Department decided not to reveal the suspect’s name.
Crimes in Baltimore
According to the Baltimore County Government web page, the index in rape crimes decreased considerably in the past few years. In 2015, 97 offences related to sexual attacks were recorded, an index that dropped about 29,7% concerning the index of 2014. The data is compiled by the Uniform Crime Reporting System of the FBI and is accessible to the public.
The situation raised a debate among the public about the use of guns and rape criminals in the state. The weapons permit that exists in the state has been criticized by some that say that this kind of situations would not happen if guns were more controlled in Baltimore. Some other citizens report that this situation is not about the gun-control policies but instead, about the policies related to the control of sex offenders and mechanisms to prevent sex crimes.
Source: Fox Baltimore