March 16, 2005 – Posted at 4:45 p.m. CST
JONESBORO -- Across the country, more and more members of the legal community are facing security concerns. That was evident Wednesday after a man went berserk at the Rees Law Firm on Enterprise Street in Jonesboro causing considerable damage.
The attack happened just after the start of the lunch hour when police say Bennie Ross took landscaping rocks and smashed in some of the doors and windows. A spokesperson for the firm said they were lucky more employees weren't in the office.
"In light of what happened in Atlanta very recently, this is a pretty scary time for everybody," said attorney Paul Teufel of the Rees Law Firm.
"It looks like most of the damages were to the exterior doors and the windows where the rocks were actually thrown," said Sgt. Stephen McDaniel with the Jonesboro Police Department.
Police say suspect Benny Ross is the one who went on the rampage that busted four windows and trashed the law firm's foyer. Two paralegals hid when Ross started his attack.
"They had locked themselves in a back room, called 911 and waited for the officers to get here," said Teufel.
"There were two employees at the law firm during the time the incident took place. At this time, we're not certain what employee of the law firm the person actually had a problem with," said McDaniel.
Law firm officials say they are not sure what Ross's relationship was to the firm.
"I've heard his name before and I may have even seen him in the office a time or two in somebody's office, but I don't really know anything beyond that," said Teufel.
But if there is a silver lining, it's all in the timing.
"If it was going to happen like this, I'm glad it was close to the lunch hour where there wasn't a lot of people here and before it escalated into something else," said Teufel.
The Rees Law Firm does have security cameras in place, however the system was not working properly and did not catch the incident. The firm does not employ a security guard; Teufel says their budget cannot afford it, but says they may have to make other arrangements.