Charges against former P&G employee accused of threatening company, closing HQ dismissed
The case against a former Procter & Gamble employee accused of making threats that forced the consumer goods giant to temporarily close its downtown Cincinnati offices last year has been dismissed, according to the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.
Benjamin Wood, 31, of Covington, Kentucky, was indicted in May 2022 on two felony counts of inducing panic, court records filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court show.
His case went to trial this week, however, it was dismissed as prosecutors were unable to move forward with the case on Tuesday because necessary witnesses failed to appear in court, Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Amy Clausing said.
"Without those witnesses' cooperation, we will not refile," Clausing said in response to a question from The Enquirer about whether prosecutors will seek to try the case again.
In court filings, prosecutors said that on May 18, Wood caused the company's headquarters on Sixth Street to close and a Cincinnati police SWAT team to be called to the scene "by initiating threats involving P&G, the CEO and its employees."
The Enquirer obtained a Cincinnati police "officer safety bulletin" issued May 17 that states Wood "had been texting several people about going to P&G and taking over."
Former Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Wood was a former P&G employee fired in 2021.
According to the bulletin, family members told police Wood suffers from mental illness. Wood was fired for not returning to the office after the company phased out COVID-19 guidelines that allowed employees to work from home, the document said.
Deters said Wood made a statement that he would “shut down the world via Cincinnati tomorrow.” And law enforcement noted Wood had access to firearms. He was arrested at his home by the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office, officials said.
In October, Wood was ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination and was ultimately found competent to stand trial, court records show.
Wood's public defender has yet to respond to a message from The Enquirer seeking comment.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Charges against former employee accused of threatening P&G dismissed