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Man stalks, vandalizes Miami Times office

Erick Johnson | 6/26/2014, 9 a.m.
It started around 2:30 p.m. Amid the raucous environment of a busy newspaper came a loud crash, followed by screams. ...
An unidentied man smashed The Miami Times’ window before stalking the office on Monday.

It started around 2:30 p.m.

Amid the raucous environment of a busy newspaper came a loud crash, followed by screams.

A middle-aged man wearing a white T-shirt was seen fleeing the front entrance of The Miami Times. Employees at the paper saw him throw a large red brick through the Times’ front window sending a shower of broken glass flying through the office. Police were called and a report was filed.

Lorraine Cammock, an executive assistant to the publisher, suffered a minor injury, but that would only be the beginning of a three-hour ordeal for the Times staff. The man would return. He wanted a job really badly.

He would cause a bizarre Monday afternoon of fear and chaos at The Times' office, temporarily located in the Brownsville Renaissance plaza at 2537 NW 54th St. The Times has been inside the complex since December as their permanent building just two miles east receives extensive renovations.

“It (the brick) sounded like a gunshot,” said Marchere Grace, a receptionist who has been with The Times for three years. “The man who did it was standing there for a while.”

After leaving a massive gaping hole in the window, the man returned to the Times office. He passed by several times while looking through the window on some occasions. That was enough to send receptionist Marchere Grace and other employees scrambling to the back office while calling the police. Human Resources Manager Karen Franklin reported the sightings and was advised to call the police if the man returned again.

He did at 4:20 p.m.

“When he kept walking by, I said, 'that’s him!' I said 'lock the doors!,'” Grace recalled.

But the locks on the door were kept open to allow another employee Calvin Mack inside. The man followed right behind Mack and held the door open.

AN EERIE SCENE

The man, whom many believe to be mentally disturbed, began taunting and giggling. The eerie scene brought a busy newsroom to a near sudden stop as shocked staff members looked on.

He said, “Are you all mad because I broke your window? Hee hee!”

Then he just stood there and said “I need a job” over and over again. To employees, it was a creepy moment as they grew nervous and waited anxiously for the police to arrive.

It would take about 25 minutes and numerous calls for the police to come. The wait would seem like forever as the man, oblivious to the numerous 911 calls, said “I need a job” repeatedly. Fearing the man may be armed and dangerous, employees kept a safe distance at the back of the office .

Meanwhile, several of The Times employees were calling and pleading for police to come to the scene.

Throughout the entire ordeal, this reporter called the police twice, and was told on the second occasion that a call had already been made when man returned to the office.

POLICE FINALLY ARRIVE

Officers arrived at The Times at 5:10. Two police cars with lights flashing appeared as the unidentified man remain talking in the front entrance of the office. He did not run. Instead, he mumbled repeatedly, “I need a job. I need a job.” The man remained calm as police handcuffed, arrested and put him in the backseat of a police car for questioning. Police did not release the man’s name.