Stolen Vehicle Chase Ends in Arrest, Exposing a Troubled History
Written by: Sam Orlando
Augusta County, Virginia - December 26, 2023: In a startling turn of events, Ronald William Smith, twin brother of Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith, found himself at the center of a high-stakes pursuit, resulting in his arrest on two counts of attempted murder of a police officer. This incident unfolded when Sheriff Donald Smith requested assistance to apprehend a stolen vehicle, which happened to be his own, driven by his brother Ronald.
The Dangerous Pursuit Unfolds
The pursuit traversed through Churchville Ave, St. Hwy 262, and Woodrow Wilson Pkwy, escalating as Ronald Smith skillfully evaded attempts by Augusta County Sheriff’s Office Deputies to bring the stolen vehicle to a halt. The chase took a perilous turn when Smith, navigating through Verona to Fort Defiance Rd, intentionally rammed a deputy's vehicle and attempted to trap another deputy's vehicle between the stolen truck and trailer.
Deputies deployed tire deflation devices in an effort to disable the semi-truck, leading to the use of a K-9 to apprehend Smith. Despite sustained injuries to his left arm from the K-9 encounter, Smith resisted arrest. Inside the vehicle, he brandished what appeared to be a hay spear, later determined to be a piece of metal rather than a firearm. Deputies, with caution, managed to open the driver's side door, prompt Smith's exit, and took him into custody without further incident.
Smith's subsequent charges include Obstruction of Justice, 2 counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder, Felony Destruction of Property, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Misdemeanor Destruction of Property, Felony Eluding, and Unauthorized Use of a vehicle. Currently held without bond in Middle River Regional Jail, Smith's arrest unveils a troubled history entangled with the sheriff's office.
From the Chase to a Troubled History
This incident comes on the heels of Breaking Through News' prior investigations into Sheriff Donald Smith's activities. The news outlet revealed that Sheriff Smith's brother Ronald was among those utilizing fraudulent means, using other inmates' pin numbers to make calls to the sheriff's residence from Rockingham County jail.
Uncovering a Troubling Pattern
The report detailed an intricate web of inmate calls, exposing Sheriff Smith's knowledge of these calls and his refusal to report them to law enforcement. The investigation also linked Ronald Smith to charges of embezzlement in 2021, where he allegedly stole large tires valued at over $1,000. The sheriff's refusal to secure felony charges added another layer to the growing concerns surrounding the Smith family.
Community Concerns and Lingering Questions
As the legal proceedings unfold, the Augusta County community is left grappling with a complex narrative involving family turmoil, alleged wrongdoings, and a law enforcement leader facing mounting questions about his familial and professional conduct.
Breaking Through News' investigative reports previously unearthed a troubling pattern of fraudulent inmate calls, implicating the sheriff's brother and exposing the sheriff's knowledge of these activities. The lingering question now resonates: Has the sheriff's acceptance of such criminal behavior contributed to the troubling events that unfolded on December 26, 2023?
The community awaits answers, demanding transparency and accountability in the aftermath of this disturbing chapter in Augusta County's law enforcement history.