Man charged after holding firefighters hostage in Lorain County

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AMHERST, Ohio -- A man accused of holding three firemen hostage at gunpoint in Amherst Wednesday night has been charged with several counts including kidnapping and felonious assault.

It happened at just after 7:30 p.m. at a property in the 100 block of Hornyak Court.

Police say the South Amherst Fire Department firefighters were responding to a brush fire at the time. A neighbor had called in the fire, and as the firefighters were putting it out, they say resident Roy Griffith Jr. became agitated.

Police reports state that Griffith then held the firemen on the ground at gunpoint.

Contact was made with Griffith at about 8:30 p.m. He made demands that he wanted alcohol and his prescription medication, reports state. After several minutes of speaking with Griffith, police say he gave himself up without incident.

No one was injured, including the firefighters.

Police say several weapons were located at the scene and secured as evidence.

During the ordeal, a portion of the Ohio Turnpike in Amherst was shut down; it was reopened a short time later.

Several of Griffith's neighbors say they were surprised at what happened and that he's always been friendly.

"I mean he’s such a nice guy," said Patricia Hembree. "The kids would go down the road with their bikes, and he’d repair all of their bikes for them. So we’ve never had a problem a negative feeling from him. He’s always been friendly.”

Griffith faces charges of inducing panic, kidnapping, felonious assault and having weapons while intoxicated. He will be arraigned in Oberlin Municipal Court.

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