Officer Charged After Striking Suspect With SUV

(KSDK/NBC News) A former Florissant, Missouri police officer has been charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and fourth-degree assault after residential surveillance cameras captured him strike a man with his police SUV.

The announcement of charges comes after a doorbell camera captured Officer Joshua Smith, 31 driving his unmarked Florissant police SUV into a man in a Dellwood neighborhood on June 2.

“The moment he turned his headlights toward the individual, it became a 4,000-pound missile,” St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar said during a press conference Wednesday.

In his report on the incident Smith wrote that the car failed to signal while changing lanes, and that “an investigatory stop was attempted on the vehicle in which the occupants of the vehicle fled,” according to the documents.

The victim, who is referred to only by his initials in court documents, ran from the car moments before he was struck by Smith’s vehicle.

During the press conference, Lohmar said Smith wrote in his report that the victim “darted in front of his car, and, in an effort to avoid hitting him, he swerved.”

“The video evidence proves that is patently false,” Lohmar said.

Smith’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, says what happened was “an accident that could not have been avoided,” and the video doesn’t show the chain of events that led up to it.

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