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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is behind bars after police say he stole about a dollar in change at a bank yesterday. But the way that police took Roy Smith II into custody has some asking if the they acted too harshly.

Police say around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday Smith entered the SECU on Converse Drive and held out his hand. He did not say anything to the cashier and didn’t present a weapon. After a few awkward moments he ran towards a woman who was depositing money into a CoinStar machine and stole one dollar in change before running outside.

We talked with Smith in jail today. He did not seem to understand some of our questions or what happened after he went to the bank. At one point he said he didn’t remember anything that happened yesterday because he didn’t have his clothes on, even though he was fully clothed.

But he was clear that he did not try to rob the bank.

“I was trying to take out a checking and savings account,” Smith said. “I ain’t got no reason to steal nothing from nobody. Why would somebody steal a dollar?”

Wilmington Police say officers tried multiple times to get Smith to leave his vehicle peacefully, but they say he would not. Once they finally got him out, they say he would not show officers his hands. They then used what Chief Ralph Evangelous called necessary force.

“Had he shown his hands, there would not have been an issue,” Evangelous said. “Until we see his hands, it is a very dangerous and volatile situation that could have gone really bad and didn’t. I support our response and our efforts there”

When we asked Smith if he felt an officer had assaulted him, he said, “no.” When we asked if he’d ever been in trouble or been arrested, he shook his head no. But Wilmington Police say this is not their first run in with Smith.

“This individual has been armed several times in the past in confrontations that we have had with him,” Evangelous said. “We didn’t know whether or not he was armed. Like I have said before, I am not going to put our officers in a situation where they are going to get themselves hurt or killed because of our complacency.”

Department of Corrections records show Smith has a lengthy criminal history including multiple convictions on drug and gun charges and two convictions for assault with a deadly weapon on a government officer.

Smith is in the New Hanover County Jail facing a felony larceny charge. His bond is set at $10,000.

Wilmington Police released dashcam video of Smith’s arrest.

Click here to watch the video

Cpl. Kevin Smith says on the video that the arrest was appropriate, because the suspects were considered to have robbed a bank.

Smith says the occupants of the vehicle police stopped refused to get out for several minutes, however the video shows it was 57 seconds before the suspect was out of the SUV and on the ground.

The video shows an undercover officer dragging the suspect away from the SUV, then stomping on his rear-end twice while yelling, “Put your hands behind your back!”

Smith says the officer felt he needed to “emphasize that with his foot.”

He says it’s important for the public to know that felony stops like this one are one of the most dangerous situations an officer can be in, just short of being shot at.

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32 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: WPD posts video of controversial arrests, chief applauds officers"

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Brian
2016 years 2 months ago

He deserved more than he got, but I’d suspect that he didn’t immediately get out of the car because of the vicious manner in which the dog was acting and its close proximity to the vehicle. I know that I would be hesitant to exit my vehicle with a dog that close and behaving in that manner.

They need to keep the dog quiet and non-threatening until it’s needed.

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PublicAvenger
2016 years 2 months ago

He is a hardened criminal. He figured out a lot of things in jail. He deliberately tried to set himself up, as a victim, but it failed. He rode the edge, and made sure, to keep it at a “misdemeanor” level. The police did a great job, and it’s good they have a chief who stands up for them.

The sad part is, this is just a misdemeanor, and will end up being just another ‘slap on the wrist’, for our little ‘Professional Victim’. I bet this guy gets a disability check, and has had whiplash, a dozen times. My bet… Read more »

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Guest Reply
2016 years 2 months ago

The WPD must have found their missing video camera from their “Hooker Sting Op”…or HSO.

First off…how did the WPD catch this guy so quickly…and so many others that actually rob a bank ride off on bicycles then sought after?
Once again…with a long criminal record this guy has…he is out walking the streets???
There are tons and tons of open land in Wyoming/Montana/Idaho/etc. that our Government could copy and paste prisons onto…and there they would have a long term containment center(s) to house these folks. If there’s a choice of my tax dollars paying to feed these folks behind bars, or have… Read more »

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Guest CommonTater
2016 years 2 months ago

The only folks that will whine are the racists….

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idiotsramongstus
2016 years 2 months ago

…need to give Roy and his accomplice a room in your house if you feel so sorry for him.

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