Man pleads guilty to weapons charge
A California man who threatened two Douglas County sheriff’s deputies with a crowbar after ramming a Gardnerville bank said Tuesday he was high on drugs and “not in the right state of mind.”
Ben Ray Henry, 41, pleaded guilty to resisting a public officer with a dangerous weapon, a felony. He was arrested July 24 after a short standoff with deputies at the El Dorado Savings Bank.
The deputies were responding to a call of a traffic accident. Henry reportedly drove his truck into the bank building after missing a turn onto Circle Drive, then brandished a crowbar when the deputies tried to arrest him.
He was eventually subdued and held for investigation of resisting a peace officer with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence.
Henry told District Judge Dave Gamble he had been using drugs at the time of the accident.
“I wasn’t in the right state of mind, so I couldn’t tell what was what,” he said. “I was just scared.”
Henry asked Gamble to consider releasing him from jail on his own recognizance to seek drug treatment. Henry said he hopes to return home to Lakewood, Calif. and to his job.
Gamble said he will consider the release if arrangements are made for Henry to go directly to a treatment center, and the center allows direct supervision. Gamble did agree to reduce Henry’s bail to $10,000 from the $80,000 figure that was originally set.
Henry is to be sentenced Sept. 21. He faces up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.