4/01/14, 5:46p.m.

The Botetourt County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a man started a fire and tried to jump out a second-story window.
It happened in the Cloverdale section of the county.

Investigators say the homeowner woke to being beaten with a bottle by Benjamin Sparks.

He allowed Sparks to stay at his home after being released from a mental healthcare facility.

When deputies arrived they say Sparks had barricaded himself in an upstairs bedroom and was making threats.

Officer saw smoke and forced their way inside.
"Once they finally made it in, the suspect was down in front of a window that had been broken, basically crouched down preparing to jump out. In an attempt to keep the suspect from doing so, officer deployed a taser. But, the suspect continued on out the window and fell," explains Major Delbert Dudding, Botetourt County Sheriff's Office. 

Sparks was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

He faces multiple charges. 


A Christiansburg man was arrested in Botetourt County early Tuesday morning after a wild series of events that allegedly include an assault, setting a room on fire, and then jumping from a second-floor window after being tasered by deputies.

25-year-old Benjamin Sparks is charged with assault, arson, property damage, and obstruction of justice. He is being treated at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Sparks was released Monday from mental health care at LewisGale Pavilion Psychiatric Hospital in Salem, according to the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident began with a call around midnight Tuesday morning after a report of an assault in the 400 block of Highland Drive in the Cloverdale area. The victim told deputies that Sparks assaulted him. The victim offered to let Sparks stay at the home for the night.

After allegedly assaulting the victim, Sparks locked himself inside of the home.

When deputies forced their way in, Sparks barricaded himself in an upstairs room and started a fire. As officers entered the room Sparks broke a window and was trying to jump out. Deputies used a Taser on Sparks, but he was still able to jump out of the second-floor window.

Here is the news release from the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office:

Botetourt County Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle has reported that four of his deputies, two fire companies and three emergency medical units were involved early Tuesday before a complaint of assault in a Cloverdale residence evolved into a wild combination of barricade, arson, and firearms concerns that culminated in a plunge from a second-story window by a Christiansburg man who had been released earlier Monday from mental health care at Lewis-Gale Pavilion in Salem.

Benjamin Reece Sparks, 25, of 1600 Peppers Ferry Road, N.W., Christiansburg, who now is a patient at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, has been charged with assault, arson, property damage, and obstruction of justice, Sheriff Sprinkle said.

The original assault complaint was received shortly after midnight from a resident in the 400-block of Highland Manor. Officers who found the complainant outside his house were told that he had fled from his house and was locked out after being attacked by Sparks.

Sparks was present there because he had been offered shelter for the night after contacting the complainant about not having a place to stay, officers were told.

Sparks obstructed entry by officers and the complainant, and, after they had forced entry, barricaded himself in an upstairs room where he subsequently started a fire, the sheriff said. When officers forced their way into the room, Sparks had broken a window, was forcing his way through the window opening, and fell to the ground despite the use of a taser in an effort to stop him, Sprinkle said.