NORTH SMITHFIELD – A Providence man found brandishing a screwdriver inside equipment at a business on Eddie Dowling Highway ended up at Landmark Medical Center after a difficult and violent arrest on Monday, Oct. 18, according to police.
Ronald Benoit, 61, was charged with injuring or tampering with vehicles, obstructing an officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct following the incident.
Police were reportedly called to the area by the owner of Pytko Construction Corp., who said he found Benoit inside a tractor owned by the business. The owner said he returned from a day of work to Pytko’s gated lot to find lights activated on the truck, and Benoit crouched inside hiding under his coat.
The suspect, who reportedly fled the scene on foot following a confrontation, left beer bottles behind in the vehicle.
Officer Justin Switzer found Benoit in the parking lot of nearby Lakeside Swimming Pools, and said that the suspect approached his cruiser clenching a large screwdriver in his right hand and yelling obscenities. Switzer said he pointed his taser at Benoit, telling him to “back up,” but the suspect stood glaring at him, urging the officer several times to,”do it,” according to reports.
“Both prongs appeared to be properly connected through his shirt, but Ronald stood fighting against the effects,” the report notes. “It became apparent that Ronald was possibly under the influence of liquor and/or drugs.”
Benoit reportedly remained standing and yelling profanities as Switzer took out his pepper spray, again daring the officer to, “do it.” The suspect was disoriented once the officer deployed the spray, and Switzer used the opportunity to attempt to tackle and arrest Benoit.
“Ronald did not seem phased as he violently resisted my attempts to place his hands behind his back,” the officer writes.
Help arrived, and police reportedly gained control of Benoit using physical force before calling for a rescue. Officers seized two screwdrivers and a pocket knife from the suspect, and the Ptyko owner said he wished to press charges.
Benoit was transported to Landmark Medical Center, where he continued yelling profanities and fighting hospital security, according to reports. The suspect was ultimately placed in four point restraints and sedated with medication.
Benoit has a pretrial conference scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 7.