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Man who threatened P&G headquarters charged with inducing panic

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Bill Rinehart
/
WVXU

Authorities in Hamilton County report a former P&G employee has been indicted on two counts of inducing panic for allegedly making threats against the company's Downtown headquarters this week.

The prosecutor's office says 30-year-old Benjamin Wood faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted on both charges, which are fourth degree felonies.

Wood was taken into custody Wednesday by the Kenton County Sheriff's Office.

Employees at Procter & Gamble's main Cincinnati headquarters were notified early Wednesday not to come into its Downtown offices. The maker of products like Tide, Pampers and Bounty said it was closing the location out of an abundance of caution following a potential security concern.

Police said they received information the day before from Kenton County authorities prompting the move.

Wednesday morning, police and SWAT officers could be seen outside the buildings, which cover about two blocks of Downtown.

WVXU and other local media outlets obtained a Cincinnati Police "officer safety bulletin" stating a former employee had been making threatening comments. The release Friday from the prosecutor's office confirmed what was in the bulletin and reports "law enforcement had information that Wood had access to firearms."

According to the bulletin, Wood had "been texting several people about going to P&G and taking over" and told two people " 'I'm shutting the world down via Cincinnati tomorrow.' " It also says he emailed a former CEO and told family he was now running P&G.

Police in the document said Wood had threatened to " 'put officers down' " in the past. They note he doesn't have a criminal record though family say he's suffering from mental illness.

"We have seen too many individuals suffering from severe mental illness not be identified before something terrible happens," says Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. "Fortunately, the criminal justice system has the resources to work with those suffering from mental illness to try to prevent a tragedy from occurring."

The bulletin stated Wood was fired in 2021 for "not coming back to work after working from home during COVID. Though it has been deactivated, he still does have his P&G work badge."

P&G released the following statement Wednesday: "Given awareness of a potential security concern by Cincinnati Police, we have closed our Downtown offices today out of an abundance of caution. We’re working closely with Cincinnati Police and don’t have additional details to share at this time."

The company has around 10,000 employees in Cincinnati. Other facilities across the city remained open.