The man who police say was responsible for the threats that caused the closure of Procter & Gamble’s Downtown Wednesday headquarters has been charged.
Benjamin Wood, 30, is charged with two counts of inciting panic. If found guilty, he faces up to 18 months in prison.
The Kenton County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it received reports of threats against P&G and passed them on to Cincinnati police. In response, the company made the decision to close its offices.
Hamilton County District Attorney Joe Deters said Friday that Wood was a former P&G employee who was fired in 2021.
Deters said Wood said he would “close the world via Cincinnati tomorrow.”
Law enforcement said Wood had access to firearms.
Wood was located at his home in Kenton County and taken into custody by the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday afternoon, Deters said.
“We’ve seen too many people with serious mental illnesses go unidentified until something terrible happened,” Deters said. “Fortunately, the criminal justice system has the resources to work with people with mental illness to try to prevent a tragedy from happening.”
The Enquirer obtained an “officer safety bulletin” from the Cincinnati police issued on May 17 which indicates that a Wood “had been texting several people to come to P&G and pick up the slack.”
According to the bulletin, family members told police that Wood suffered 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, according to the document.
Covington Police said they had previous contact with Wood.
“He made similar, widespread threats against police and others,” Lt. Col. Brian Valenti said. “These are misdemeanors and were not observed by the police, so he was not charged as required by law in [Kentucky].”
Around 4,000 employees work at the multinational’s downtown headquarters. Typically, around 50% work from home mid-week.
Maker of consumer staples like Tide laundry detergent, Gillette razors and Pampers diapers, P&G employs 101,000 people worldwide, including 10,000 in Greater Cincinnati.
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