Oklahoma Firefighter Arrested for Facebook Threats to Cop

 

A firefighter from Ada, Oklahoma has been arrested for allegedly directing threats on Facebook at a police officer who arrested his wife.

Vincent Jason Smeltz, 42, was arrested Tuesday on charges that he used a computer system to inflict fear of injury or death to Police Officer Brad Rhoads. Smeltz was released on $5,000 bond.

On April 24, 2013, Officer Rhoads arrested Laura Smeltz for public intoxication.  FF Smeltz allegedly went to the scene of the arrest and attempted to intervene. Officer Rhoads asked him to leave the scene 21 times. FF Smeltz then followed Officer Rhoads to the Pontotoc County Justice Center where he asked Sergeant Jason Potter to intervene.

Between the arrest on April 24 and April 28, FF Smeltz alleged made a number of posts directed at Officer Rhoads and Sergeant Potter. Among the posts listed in the media were:

  • “I want brad Rhoads head. I'm just getting started. I want your job Rhoads." [Sic]
  • "Fire brad Rhoads." [Sic]
  • "ada pd do not park across the street from my house for your speed trap. I don't want to be associated with your corruption. Stay away or I'll push you down the street."

According to the police affidavit, Officer Rhoads claims that the posts placed him in fear of physical harm or death.

Ada Fire Chief Marion Harris was quoted as saying "The firefighter in question has been placed on dispatch duty assignment and that's just a precaution until we can figure out what's going on and determine the allegations."

 

 

 

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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