CHICAGO The driver of a minivan who interrupted
a local TV newscast while it was on the air by crashing into
the station's glass-walled studio, was charged on Monday with
reckless driving, authorities said.
Gerald Richardson, 25, was seen driving erratically moments
before veering into the street-level studio on Sunday night,
the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Richardson's sister later told the newspaper he suffered
from mental problems.
He performed several U-turns on the busy downtown street
before crashing the van into a thick glass panel dividing the
studio from the sidewalk, with a panel giving way, witnesses
told the newspaper.
The impact was heard on-air and anchorman Ravi Baichwal
shouted, "Ho!," interrupting his introduction to the newscast's
first story about harsh winter weather. He said the studio had
Small crowds often form outside the studio's windows during
newscasts but no one was hurt and the driver was arrested
inside the van, the Sun-Times reported.
Initially, Richardson was charged with reckless driving and
ticketed for driving without insurance.
(Reporting by Andrew Stern. Editing by Peter Bohan and Eric