Frank James MacArthur
At 6 p.m. Saturday, Baltimore city police and a police SWAT team had surrounded the home of blogger and citizen journalist Frank James MacArthur, intending to “serve a warrant issued in June by his probation agent stemming from a 2009 gun case and another for subsequent failure to appear in court,” according to the Baltimore Sun.
While serving a warrant is a routine job for police to carry out, it became slightly more complicated Saturday night once MacArthur, who apparently knew the city police were coming for him, refused to leave his house right away, and then took to social media.
For five hours, MacArthur, who goes by @BaltoSpectator on Twitter, live-tweeted and streamed the audio of his standoff with city police, much of which featured him negotiating his terms of surrender with Baltimore police lieutenant Jason Yerg.
“By 10 p.m.,” reports Baltimore City Paper, “thousands of people were listening to MacArthur’s live broadcast of his own negotiation with the Baltimore Police Lieutenant Jason Yerg, who was tasked with talking the 47-year-old blogger out of his home. MacArthur gained 2,500 twitter followers (he had 4,666 as of 11 a.m. Sunday) and reportedly some 20,000 people tuned into the internet radio stream on Spreaker.com, embedded at MacArthur’s blog.”
Around 11 p.m. Saturday, the standoff ended when MacArthur came out of his house in the Waverly neighborhood and was taken into custody peacefully. According to a tweet sent Sunday afternoon by Baltimore Sun reporter Kevin Rector, Baltimore city police “are recommending state’s attorney file new charge against [MacArthur] after finding a sawed-off shotgun in his home.” A later Sun story confirmed that police found a shotgun and ammunition inside MacArthur’s home.-30-