Man in Penfield standoff faces multiple felony charges

Updated: July 01, 2020 05:06 PM
Created: July 01, 2020 01:05 PM

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WHEC) – The Penfield man who was holed up in his house in a standoff with deputies is facing multiple felony charges.

Deputies charged Benjamin Smith, 51, with arson in the third degree, five counts of attempted assault on a police officer, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and criminal mischief in the third degree. Smith is also facing a parole violation.


The standoff began around 4 p.m. Monday when deputies say Smith threatened his parole officer. Smith then barricaded himself inside the home and threatened to harm himself.

Deputies say Smith threw multiple Molotov cocktails and shot arrows at them from inside the house. They also say he was armed with multiple gas cans prepared as incendiary devices.

Just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, Smith came out of his family's home and surrendered peacefully. 

“Our men and women put on a uniform every day and enter the unexpected,” Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said 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.”

Smith was taken to a local hospital to receive mental health assistance. He will be arraigned at a later date, once released. 

Ten years ago, Smith attacked people along the Erie Canal in Pittsford. He was also previously convicted on arson charges and has threatened members of the Bush family.

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