Florissant cop who ran down suspect with police SUV charged with assault

The incident involving a Florissant officer happened around 11:30 p.m. on June 9, and was captured on video by a doorbell camera.

Sam Masterson
June 17, 2020 - 11:02 am
Categories: 

ST. CHARLES, Mo (KMOX) - Former Florissant Police detective Joshua Smith has been charged with assault and armed criminal action for ramming a suspect with his police SUV. 

Smith is charged with assault in the first degree, armed criminal action and assault in the fourth degree. 

St. Charles prosecuting attorney Tim Lomar made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, he is the special investigator for the case due to a conflict of interest with the prosecutor in St. Louis County.

Related: Protesters block street in St. Charles, demand charges against Florissant police officer

"In our view, just what we see with our own two eyes, the moment that vehicle turned its headlights toward the victim, that became a 4,000-pound missile," Lomar says. "So that's our dangerous instrubment.  

Lomar says he was told Smith had turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning. The highest charge in this case, first-degree assault, comes with a possible prison sentence to up to 30 years, Lomar says.

On Tuesday, protestors block a busy street in St. Charles outside Lomar's office, demanding the prosecutor charge Smith. Some called for assault or attempted murder charges. 

A probable cause statement described the incident, saying Smith "drove his vehicle, a Ford Explorer, off the roadway and directly toward the victim, thereby striking the victim causing serious physical injury ... The victim suffered a broken ankle, and limped a short distance before falling to the ground. (Smith) approached the victim, kicked him and struck him before securing the victim in handcuffs, thereby causing physical pain."

Watch the announcement of the charges here: 

Last week, Smith was fired. He was a 9-year veteran of the force and had no previous incidents that required an outside investigation, according to Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagan.

The incident involving a Florissant officer happened around 11:30 p.m. on June 9 in the north St. Louis County neighborhood of Dellwood. A doorbell camera captured video of it.

The man seen arrested in the video is 20-years-old and suffered an ankle injury in the incident. He was charged with resisting arrest and released. 

"The only instance, as far as I'm concerned, where an officer is justified in using potentially deadly force by using a motor vehicle is if that officer's life is or physical health or that of another is in question," Lomar said last week.

He says the three men ran from police after officers pulled the car over. He says the car matched the description of a vehicle wanted in connection with a shots fired incident. He also says police failed to report any use of force in the original report. 

Smith, Josh File Stamped Complaint_Redacted by EntercomSTL on Scribd

Smith, Josh Probable Cause Statement by EntercomSTL on Scribd

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