Amherst man charged with holding firefighters hostage pleads not guilty

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OBERLIN, Ohio- The man accused of holding three firefighters hostage appeared in court on Thursday.

Roy Griffith Jr. is charged with kidnapping, felonious assault, inducing panic and having weapons under a disability. He pleaded not guilty in Oberlin Municipal Court and his bond was set at $500,000.

Six firefighters responded to a brush fire on Hornyak Court in Amherst Township Wednesday night. At some point, Griffith became irritated and held three of the firefighters at gunpoint, according to police.

Hostage negotiators spoke with Griffith, demanded his medication and alcohol. The standoff lasted nearly two hours and shut down part of the Ohio Turnpike before Griffith gave himself up.

No one was injured and several weapons were seized as evidence, the Lorain County Sheriff's Office said.

The suspect's father and sister were in the courtroom Thursday morning, but did not want to speak to the media.

Griffith will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 28.

Continuing coverage here

Hostage situation