The individual responsible for a daylong standoff in the Village of Lewiston was charged Sunday night with arson in the second degree.
At 10:29 p.m., New York State Trooper Victor Morales, Troop A public information officer, issued this statement:
"New York State Police received a dispatch from the Niagara County Sheriff's Office dispatch regarding a possible assault. SP Niagara Troopers responded to West Lane in the Village of Lewiston. Contact was made with the resident, Leonard A. Zientara, age 51, however, he refused to answer the door or exit the residence to speak with the troopers. Telephonic communication was made in an attempt to speak with Zientara, who continued to refuse to exit the residence.
"State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation negotiators responded to the scene and established an open line of communication, which continued for several hours. As a safety precaution, a reverse 911 call was made to the Village of Lewiston residents informing them of the situation and allowed residents access to leave the area. State Police Special Operations Response Team members also responded to the scene and established a perimeter around the residence.
"Zientara eventually exited a second-story window onto his roof. Communications continued with negotiators and SORT members. At approximately 5:15 p.m., he started the residence on fire through a hole he created in the roof. As the flames increased, Zientara re-entered the residence and surrendered himself, without incident, to SORT members who had gained entry into the residence.
"Zientara has been charged with arson (second-degree), a class B felony, (and was) arraigned in the Town of Lewiston Court and remanded to the Niagara County Jail without bail.
"Assisting at the scene were the Village of Lewiston police and fire departments."
Leonard Zientara is pictured.