Joshua Smith, who worked for Florissant, Missouri, Police Department, faces charges of first- and fourth-degree assault and armed criminal action, a St. Louis County attorney said Wednesday. Charles Tim Lohmar.
The charges were filed after reviewing footage from a surveillance camera of residents, taken on June 2, prosecutors said. Smith was fired on June 10th.
“The moment the vehicle turned its lights towards the victim, it became a £ 4,000 missile,” Lohmar told reporters.
Smith’s attorney Scott Rosenblum told CNN he saw a small portion of the encounter “and fails to tell the whole story” of an incident he called an accident “under extraordinary circumstances.”
The officer was involved in the search for the vehicle.
“We have a situation where the driver jumped off a moving vehicle after take-off – allowing the vehicle to remain unoccupied,” Rosenblum wrote in an email. “Unexpectedly, the injured man also jumped out of the car. Mr. Smith never intended to hit him. Nor did he expect another passenger to jump in front of him from the moving car.”
Video from the scene shows a man being hit as he runs out of a car as he slowly rolls down the street.
The fourth-degree attack originated from a former police officer who kicked the victim while he was lying on the ground, while already suffering from a broken ankle, Lohmar said.
A statement on the probable cause says Smith also hit the man before handcuffing him.
“It was shocking to say the least,” Lohmar said of the video.
Jerryl Bozic, a lawyer for the unidentified injured man, told a CNN member of KMOV that his client “suffered severe injuries that required surgery and was injured by this shocking incident.”
Smith, who was in Florissant police for nine years before he was fired last week after the previous video was released, was on security details for “hints of robbery and vandalism” following anti-racist protests in the area, Lohmar said.
Smith, 31, and two other police officers in the SUV tracked the car that matched the description of the car involved in the “fired shooting” incident days earlier, Lohmar said.
The car did not stop immediately when Smith turned on an unmarked siren and Ford Explorer lights, officials said. He eventually stopped in a residential neighborhood as tenants came out and fled, Lohmar said. According to Lohmar, the victim was one of the three, he said.
Florissant is north of St. Louis and near Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in a clash with police in 2014 that spurred the Black Lives Matter movement.
CNN’s Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.
Zombie aficionado. Typical introvert. General creator. Beer practitioner. Web fan. Music nerd.