Man Accused of Seriously Injuring Officer During Arrest in Centralia


A Tacoma man is facing assault charges after he allegedly threw an officer to the ground, possibly giving her a concussion, while resisting arrest on vehicle and identity theft charges in Centralia on Wednesday.  

The owner of a car dealership located on Mellen Street in Centralia called the Centralia Police Department on May 18 regarding a customer who had purchased a vehicle the day before. After the customer purchased the vehicle, the dealership owner was notified that the name the customer had given belonged to a victim of identity theft. The dealership owner informed officers that the customer — who was later identified as David Smith, 35, of Tacoma — contacted the dealership owner again on May 18 to express interest in purchasing another vehicle. 

The Centralia Police Department later learned there was a $55,000 warrant out of King County for Smith's arrest. 

Officer Julie Jacobo with the Centralia Police Department responded to the dealership and attempted to arrest Smith on Wednesday, according to court documents. 

Smith was “initially compliant,” but ultimately ran past Jacobo, “forcing her into the open (car) door as he ran by,” according to court documents. At one point during the struggle, Smith allegedly “grabbed (Officer) Jacobo by the head and threw her to the ground, causing her head to hit the ground and him to also fall on top of her with all of his body weight,” according to court documents. 

“It is believed that (Officer) Jacobo suffered a concussion as a result of being thrown to the ground and hitting her head,” according to court documents. 

Two car dealership employees then attempted to help Jacobo, but Smith was able to get away and get into his recently-purchased vehicle. 

Two additional officers with the Centralia Police Department then arrived on the scene to assist and Smith was successfully detained. 

Officers then searched Smith’s vehicle and found a backpack containing “a large quantity of suspected methamphetamine,” according to court documents. 

Smith was booked into the Lewis County Jail at 8:07 p.m. on May 18 and has since been charged with one count each of second-degree assault, third-degree assault, theft of a motor vehicle, second-degree identity theft, forgery and possession of methamphetamine. 

The most serious charge, second-degree assault, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. 

Smith had a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 19, but he was unable to attend due to illness, according to Defense Attorney Rachael Tiller. The hearing has been rescheduled for Friday afternoon. Smith will be held without bail until his preliminary hearing.