After more than a week of protests and one day after the release of an incriminating video, Joshua L. Smith was charged with 1st Degree Assault, Armed Criminal Action and 4th Degree Assault for driving a Florissant Police SUV into an unarmed man, then kicking and punching him on the ground before cuffing him.
The charge of 1st Degree Assault is a Class A felony. Smith’s bond was set at $50,000.
St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar announced the charges on Wednesday, June 17. The day before, attorneys for the victim released a new surveillance video that shows Smith veering off the road and deliberately striking a fleeing pedestrian with his unmarked SUV. Smith then exits his vehicle, kicks the injured man on the ground, and then strikes him with his fists twice before cuffing him.
Attorneys Jermaine Wooten and Jerryl Christmas, who have been retained by the victim, claimed the video is sufficient evidence to charge Smith with Assault 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action. Clearly, the special prosecutor agreed.
The assault occurred on June 2 in Dellwood, which is in St. Louis County. But St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell assigned a special prosecutor to the case due to a conflict of interest. Timothy Swope, a Florissant police officer and the son of Bell’s director of operations, was riding in the police SUV when Smith struck the fleeing man.
Smith’s attorney Scott Rosenblum claimed the incident on June 2 was “simply an accident.”
Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagen fired Smith after initial protests but did not arrest him. Florissant Mayor Tim Lowery and the police department have been the target of daily protests by the group Respect Us demanding that Smith be arrested and charged. One June 15, Respect Us also began protesting Lohmar.
The St. Louis County Police Department investigated the crime and issued the probable cause statement on which Lohmar based his charges. The police report indicates that the victim suffered a broken ankle.
A different video of the assault was first posted by Real STL News. Cop Blaster was the first to identify the assailant as Detective Joshua L. Smith.