Crime

Spanaway man charged with slashing trooper’s tire

Daniel Brent Smithson Jr. of Spanaway has a beef with Washington State Patrol trooper Sandra Bolen.

Smithson contends Bolen’s pet dog attacked him and his own dog in 2013 as they walked past the trooper’s house. He’s sued her for damages in Pierce County Superior Court.

But authorities say Smithson hasn’t been content with allowing the legal process to play out.

Instead, the allege, he launched a campaign of harassment against Bolen that culminated this week with him slashing a tire on her patrol car and another on the car of her roommate.

Smithson, 39, has been arrested and charged with first-degree malicious mischief and third-degree malicious mischief. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court. Judge Garold Johnson ordered him jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Smithson’s anger apparently began festering in September 2013 when, he contends, he and his dog were hurt while walking past Bolen’s house in Graham.

“During the attack, plaintiff’s dog was bitten by defendant’s dog and suffered injuries,” his lawsuit contends. “During the attack, plaintiff was knocked to the ground and bitten by defendant’s dog and suffered personal injury.”

The civil lawsuit, filed in October 2014, is pending.

Bolen recently told Pierce County sheriff’s deputies that “she has had problems with (Smithson) walking by her house and acting aggressively/oddly” for some time, court records filed in the criminal case show.

The trooper was worried enough to seek an anti-harassment order against Smithson, install security cameras at her home and notify her home owners’ association about him.

In April, a lawyer from the home owners’ association sent a letter to Smithson, formally prohibiting him from entering the development, according to charging documents.

In addition, the State Patrol installed a security camera near Bolen’s house, the records show.

On Monday, a delivery truck driver knocked on Bolen’s door to tell her that her take-home cruiser had a flat tire. Bolen went outside and discovered her roommate’s car also had a flat.

The tires appeared to have been slashed, court records show.

Bolen reviewed video from her security cameras and saw a man who appeared to be Smithson park a white van outside her house about 2:30 a.m. The man walked up to her roommate’s car and stabbed one of the tires about five times before approaching Bolen’s patrol car and doing the same, court records show.

Bolen showed the video to two sheriff’s deputies, one of whom recognized the man in the video as Smithson “from previous contacts,” charging documents state.

Smithson was convicted in 2002 of unlawful use of a building for drug purposes, court records show. He and two other men were accused of cooking methamphetamine in a Tacoma house. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail on that case.

The deputies then went to talk to Smithson.

“When law enforcement arrived at the defendant’s residence regarding the incident, the defendant refused to exit the home and officers had to apply for a warrant to seize the defendant in order to enter the residence and arrest the defendant,” deputy prosecutor Jennifer Hernandez wrote in charging papers.

Hernandez added that prosecutors are considering filing more charges against Smithson as the investigation into his conduct continues.

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