Man charged following Stafford standoff over explosive garage, threats
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office said a man was arraigned Wednesday in Stafford Town Court on six felony counts three days after he allegedly told authorities a garage was equipped with explosives and he would detonate them if approached.
Christopher C. Say, no age or address given, has been charged with third-degree attempted arson, making a terroristic threat, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree assault and third-degree criminal mischief. Say was remanded to the Genesee County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail, $40,000 bond, $80,000 partially secured bond.
On Sunday, the county Emergency Dispatch Center took a call reporting a detached garage on fire, Stafford firefighters arrived at the scene and encountered an uncooperative male, later identified as Say.
A sheriff’s deputy tried to make contact with the man, who by then was barricaded in the garage. Say then said the garage was equipped with explosives. Additional deputies, New York State Police and state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) police responded.
“State Route 5 was closed to pedestrian traffic and neighbors in the area were evacuated. City of Batavia Emergency Response Team, which includes members of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and City of Batavia Police Department, responded along with a negotiating team from both agencies,” the Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
The Sheriff’s Office said at one point, negotiations stalled when Say did not respond to negotiators’ efforts to speak with him.
“Say then allegedly drove a motor vehicle backwards through a closed garage door, breaking the garage door and damaging the vehicle,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “The vehicle continued rearward down the driveway, striking a fence and a marked law enforcement vehicle. Say was taken into custody without further incident.”
Before law enforcement arrived, Say allegedly tried to burn the detached garage and intentionally burned the face of a resident at the scene, causing injury. Say also allegedly possessed a metal knuckle knife. Authorities found evidence of action Say took that supported his alleged statements that the garage was equipped to explode.
The county Sheriff’s Office thanked city police, state troopers, DEC police, Genesee County Emergency Management Services, Stafford Fire Department and Mercy EMS for their response and help during the incident.