Police arrest man hiding in attic of local business

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

SALYERSVILLE – A Magoffin man is behind bars after allegedly breaking into a Salyersville pawn shop and attempting to steal guns.

According to police records, law enforcement responded around 2 a.m. on February 9, 2017, to a call of an alarm going off at Parkway Gun and Pawn, on Parkway Drive in Salyersville. 

Upon arrival, Salyersville Police Department Officer Jeremiah Watson started to walk through the business with the owners, who unlocked the front door and observed a broken golf club laying on the floor. When the owners told law enforcement the golf club should not be there, Officer Watson radioed for backup, per the arrest citation.

When Magoffin County Sheriff Department Deputy Reggie Gosser arrived, he went to the rear of the building to secure the premises, when he reportedly saw a set of hands coming out of a vent in the eve of the building. Deputy Gosser gave loud verbal commands to the person in the attic to show his hands, but the suspect refused, pulling his hands back into the building, according to police records.

Meanwhile, Officer Watson began to clear the building and noticed the glass case that held pistols had been busted and some of the firearms were missing. Kentucky State Police Trooper M. Haney then arrived and assisted in trying to find the suspect, when they found a large hole in the ceiling in the back room of the business, according to Trooper Haney’s police report. 

Law enforcement climbed up into the attic, where they observed a man trying to hide behind some duct work and refusing police commands to show his hands. Trooper Haney used his conducted electrical weapon (CEW) on the suspect once, but he would not comply, nor did he after the second cycle from the CEW. After receiving three rounds from the stun gun, Jason L. Benton, 38, of Salyersville, became compliant and was placed in handcuffs after getting down from the attic, according to the arrest citation.

Further investigation revealed that Benton had allegedly climbed onto the roof of the pawn shop, then entered through the vent in the eve of the building. Once in the attic, he reportedly kicked a hole in the ceiling and entered the business. He used a .22 caliber camouflage rifle to bust the glass display case, took seven hand guns and attempted to leave the building with them. When police found him, he had two of the guns in the attic with him, and the other five had been dropped on the floor in the back room, according to the police report.

Due to his level of intoxication, Benton was transported to Paul B. Hall for medical clearance before being lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.

Benton is currently charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief and resisting arrest. A preliminary hearing is set in the case for February 20 at 9:15 a.m. at the Magoffin County Justice Center.

Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.