Multiple felony charges for man responsible in 24-hour Penfield standoff

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced charges Wednesday for the man involved in a 24-hour standoff in Penfield this week.

MORE | Penfield standoff ends peacefully after 24 hours, no injuries reported, charges announced Wednesday

Benjamin Smith, 51, is charged with:

  • Arson 3rd degree (Class C – Felony)
  • Five counts Attempted Assault on a Police Officer (Class C – Felony)
  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon (Class D – Felony)
  • Criminal Mischief in the 3rd degree (Class E – Felony)

“Our men and women put on a uniform every day and enter the unexpected,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter in a press release. “Our deputies serve to protect you and me 24/7, in hopes of returning to their families at the end of their shifts; for many those shifts are not 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We will not tolerate threats to the fine men and women who are dedicated and committed to keeping our community out of harm’s way.”

Officials say Smith become agitated with a parole worker and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist shortly before 4 p.m. Monday. At that time, police say Smith threatened his own safety and the lives of responding deputies.

Police say Smith threw multiple Molotov cocktails at our deputies from an open window inside the home and shot arrows at our deputies from a bow inside the house. He was also armed with multiple gas cans prepared as incendiary devices, according to officials.

Authorities say the tension resumed overnight and into the morning hours of Tuesday, but conversations with Smith became less threatening tone negotiations progressed throughout the day.

Then, Tuesday afternoon, the situation escalated when Smith threw another Molotov cocktail our the window and shot several more arrows at responding officers.

When the opportunity presented itself, the SWAT team deployed tactics and techniques, in coordination with hostage negotiators, which resulted in the successful, peaceful resolution that we all desired.

Just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, officials announced publicly that the standoff had ended peacefully and with no injuries reported.

Smith was taken by ambulance to an area hospital to receive the mental health assistance he needs. He will be arraigned on the charges at a later date, once released.

Police say Smith has a criminal history, being previously convicted of third degree arson in 2016, criminal mischief in 2012, and federal firearms prohibitions in 2014.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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