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Truck crashes through bank window

by Merrie Leininger

The employees of the Gardnerville branch of the El Dorado Savings Bank are trying to get back to business as usual with a large piece of plywood in the place of a picture window after a California man was arrested for driving through the window Saturday night.

Ben Ray Henry, 41, of Lakewood, Calif., was arrested at about 7 p.m. Saturday after he drove into the El Dorado Savings Bank on Highway 395.

“The repairs are all taken care of. The glass will be replaced tomorrow and I have a new desk,” said manager Edith Good. “We’re all just fine and glad to be getting back to work.”

Good said when Henry’s orange Chevrolet pickup broke through the window, it also destroyed her desk and everything in it and part of the new loans department.

According to court documents, Henry was driving south on Highway 395 when he decided to turn left onto Circle Drive, the road immediately north of the bank. However, he missed the road and went over a sidewalk and the landscaping in front of the building, hitting the northwest side.

Officers responded to the accident to find Henry sitting in the bed of his pickup truck, which was still sitting partway in the building.

As Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Lloyd Conrad approached Henry and asked him to step away from the pickup, he said, “No, I can’t do that,” according to the police report.

Conrad noted in the report that Henry seemed very angry and under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was very difficult to understand.

When other officers responded to the scene, Henry grabbed a crowbar and began advancing at the officers with it over his head.

When he refused to drop the crowbar, officers used pepper spray on Henry.

The report says Henry then dropped the crowbar and lay on the ground. Once he was in custody, he again became combative and tried to escape through a window. He refused to get out of the vehicle at the Minden jail, according to reports.

A background check on Henry turned up three previous DUI arrests in New Mexico and Nevada.

Henry was charged with DUI, third or more, a class B felony, and resisting a public officer with a dangerous weapon, a class D felony. He is still in jail. Bail was set at $80,000.

In an arraignment hearing in East Fork Justice Court Monday morning, attorney Tod Young was appointed to represent Henry. He will have a pre-preliminary hearing today at 2 p.m.