Man indicted for escaping, setting off sprinklers


A Sunbury man has been been indicted by a Delaware County grand jury after he escaped from the Delaware city jail by setting off the sprinkler system.

Benjamin H. Cope, 29, of Sunbury, was indicted Wednesday on a charge of escape, a fifth-degree felony; and vandalism, a fifth-degree felony.

Cope was in Delaware Municipal Court recently to face charges of criminal damaging, obstructing official business and domestic violence, all in connection with a July 18 incident.

Cope had been brought from the Delaware County Jail to municipal court for a hearing. But while Cope was in a holding cell, he tampered with a water sprinkler head and caused the fire suppression system to start discharging water, police said.

A municipal court bailiff removed him from his cell to take him away from the sprinkler and he ran from the bailiff, police said.

He was found moments later by officers in the area of East Central Avenue and U.S. 23. He was taken into custody and charged with escape, vandalism and resisting arrest.

Police said that the fire suppression system caused significant damage to all three floors of the city’s justice center.

An arraignment in Delaware County Common Pleas Court has not yet been scheduled.

Cope was in the county jail Friday afternoon.


By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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