Video: Man who crashed into Dallas TV station pleads with reporters
A 34-year-old man was arrested Wednesday morning after repeatedly crashing his pickup truck into the corner of the Fox 4 News building at 400 N. Griffin Street in downtown Dallas, police said.
The man got out of the truck after hitting the building several times, shattering the floor-to-ceiling windows, and began ranting, according to reports. Witnesses told Star-Telegram media partner WFAA that the man was screaming about “high treason.” It happened at around 6 a.m.
But police spokeswoman Debra Webb said hours later that the man appeared to be trying to draw attention to an officer-involved shooting. Similar verbiage was on papers strewn across the street.
“It doesn’t appear he was targeting the media,” she said.
Police identified the man as Michael Chadwick Fry, a Bartonville resident, according to Denton County jail records. He was charged with criminal mischief, a second-degree felony.
When Fry got out of his truck he pulled out a bag, which prompted police to summon a bomb squad. They used a police dog and robot to search for explosives and didn’t find any, Webb said.
Hundreds of papers littered the street in front of the building after the crash. Hours later, police could be seen picking up the sheets and putting them in boxes. The parking lot surrounding the building was blocked off with yellow police tape.
Fox 4 News was eventually allowed back into the building and began sharing images of the papers the man was throwing.
“High treason witchery by mob of females, mob sheriff’s,” the top of one said.
The papers were printouts of a WFAA article titled, “Driver shot by Denton County deputy during traffic stop dies.”
The shooting referenced in the papers happened in 2012.
“They tryed to kill me,” the man wrote over the article. “And they missed. And hit him. They have been trying to killing me for years now.”
Fry was the passenger of a car when a deputy from the Denton County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed the driver in 2012.
The deputy stopped the driver, Roberto Carlos Hernandez, for speeding on FM 1173 near Krum. Authorities say Hernandez put the car into reverse and rammed into the officer’s patrol vehicle. The deputy shot Hernandez several times, according to reports at the time of the incident.
Arresting officers on Wednesday told Webb that Fry wasn’t making much sense but that he surrendered peacefully, she said. There were no injuries.
“The suspect went to Parkland Hospital just to get evaluated,” she said, and has since been transported to jail.
Fry has been incarcerated in Denton County 26 times in the past 15 years, according to jail records. He was booked several times for assault, along with drug and theft arrests.
Fox 4 reporter Hanna Battah said in a Facebook Live report that most employees were evacuated after the truck hit the office. They began re-entering at about 9:20 a.m., according to the station’s live news broadcast.
Several city blocks were closed off to traffic surrounding the building while police investigated. Buses at the nearby bus station ran late because of the incident.
“I’m going to be 40 minutes late to work,” one witness told the Star-Telegram. Another said she was late for her class.
People had gathered across the street to watch investigators work after the incident. Helicopters were hovering over the scene at about 9 a.m.
The truck Fry drove appeared to be a rental and had a Texas tag.
As he was walked into a Dallas jail, Fry shouted about treason again, a WFAA reporter tweeted.