Former Ada firefighter Jason Vincent Smeltz, Ada, was arraigned in Pontotoc County District Court Wednesday on charges of “Use of computer to put another in fear of physical harm or death.”
It is a felony charge punishable by imprisonment of not more than 10 years in prison and a fine of not less than $5,000, nor more than $100,000, according to the D.A.’s office.
Special District Judge C. Steven Kessinger set a status docket on Smeltz’s case for Sept. 4 at 2 p.m.
The incident occurred during a traffic stop April 25 of two women, one of them Smeltz's wife, Laura Elizabeth Smeltz. When Smeltz, an Ada firefighter at the time, learned of the traffic stop, he rushed to the site and reportedly tried to take his wife home.
Mrs. Smeltz was eventually arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, a charge Smeltz has vehemently called inaccurate.
Smeltz has maintained his wife, a passenger in the car, was not legally intoxicated.
Police have argued that a person doesn’t have to be at 0.08 blood alcohol to be publicly intoxicated.
During the stop, Ada Police Officer Brad Rhoads reportedly asked Smeltz to get back in his vehicle and leave the scene approximately 21 times.
The affidavit from the District Attorney’s office says the alleged interference was video taped and is offered as evidence.
Smeltz was arrested shortly after the incident when he allegedly made the threatening remarks on Facebook.
“The defendant did, willfully and knowingly, use a computer, computer system or computer network together with threats made in person to others to put Brad Rhoads in fear of physical harm or death by publicly posting on 'Facebook' a series of comments."
The affidavit includes these remarks: “I don’t know where you live (Brad Rhoads) and don’t have your number. But I will. You take from me. I take from you. I’ll have my say. Every day.”
According to the affidavit from the D.A.’s office, Smeltz promised to work daily to have Rhoads “busted to a cart pusher where you belong.”
He added further in his Facebook comments that he was coming to make Rhoads miserable before calling him an “incompetent (SOB).”
The affidavit also quotes Smeltz saying it was no wonder people are bombing and shooting everyone.
“People are getting tired of this (BS),” he said.
“You can only push so far before somebody busts your head,” Smeltz is quoted as putting on Facebook.
The firefighter was terminated from his position with Ada Fire Department after allegedly making those comments.
In addition, the document describes Smeltz chastising Rhoads for digging through a woman’s purse, namely his wife’s purse.
“You won’t do it again. I promise you that,” the affidavit quotes Smeltz as saying on Facebook.
The D.A.’s office concluded by saying Smeltz’s statements had caused Rhoads to be in fear of physical harm or death.