Former Republican congressional candidate Gary Smith, who now faces multiple felony charges for allegedly stalking and stabbing his primary opponent's tires, is headed back to jail.
Updated 3:30 pm Wednesday: After getting an arrest warrant signed by 2nd Judicial District Judge Ross Sanchez, Albuquerque police arrested Smith around 2 pm today and have booked him. Albuquerque Police Detective Lorenzo Garcia tells SFR that police have filed new charges for aggravated stalking, a fourth-degree felony, and plan to place a hold on Smith to keep him from being released before his Conditions of Release hearing on Friday.
Garcia says he has referred the case to APD's critical incident team, where he hopes the doctor and psychologist assigned to the team can evaluate Smith's mental condition.
Garcia says Smith didn't talk at first, then reiterated some of the points he made to SFR in an interview yesterday, and reported below. Scroll down to watch a video of the interview.
SFR first reported on surveillance videos apparently showing Smith slashing the tires of various Republican political figures. Last week, he was charged with criminal damage to property and ordered to stay away from Janice Arnold-Jones’ family home after being released from jail.
Despite hearing Bernalillo County Metro Judge Daniel Ramcyzk's strict warning to stay away from the alleged victim’s location, Smith now admits to visiting Arnold-Jones’ home early in the morning on New Year’s Day.
“I just drove by there, because I hadn’t been there before,” Smith tells SFR. “I just wanted to see, get an observation, because I don’t know what’s going on yet. I'm in the dark."
In the dark or not, Arnold-Jones’ husband John Jones wants Smith’s bail revoked and hopes officials will have Smith mentally evaluated.
“He didn’t just drive by this morning. He parked and if I hadn't been out getting the newspaper and checking on my tires I’m sure they'd be flat again,” Jones says.
Jones says it's time for Smith to be mentally evaluated before his behavior escalates.
"This is no way to start the New Year," Jones says. “He’s terrorizing us. He’s a menace, and he needs to be taken off the streets."
Garcia previously told SFR that he planned to see a new arrest warrant today and was also investigating other vandalism reports filed by fellow Republican operatives and Smith’s former Campaign Manager Rhead Story, who reported his Kia’s tires were flattened again on Tuesday morning.
Since the tire stabbings started, Arnold-Jones says she’s become more aware of her surroundings for her own safety.
“It shouldn’t have to be like this,” Arnold-Jones tell SFR. “This isn’t political payback. This is personal.”
Yesterday, SFR visited Smith at his home. He says he doesn’t think he’s the man seen on the surveillance videos slashing the tires of Arnold-Jones and her husband John’s truck in mid-December.
“That’s not me,” Smith says. “I’m totally dazzled by this. I just can’t understand if it is me. I don’t know how I can get there, and what happened, and if it happened.”
SFR asked Smith, who claims he’s been suffering night sweats, if he might be committing the crimes while sleep walking.
“No, I’m not saying that,” he says. “I just need to find out if it is me.”
Smith also tells SFR he has not been diagnosed with a mental illness, and has been busy since the campaign with other projects. He says he put his unsuccessful campaign behind him months ago.
But that’s around the same time Story started finding his Kia’s tires flattened. In the past six months, Story says he’s replaced over 40.
After hearing more tires were found flat on Tuesday, Jones donated his surveillance cameras and hired a family friend to install them at the carport in Story’s apartment complex.
When SFR asked Smith about the multiple stabbings at Story’s home, he denied responsibility.
“I’ve been by their place on walks,” Smith says, adding that after walking two miles, he only drops by their apartment to ‘warm up’ on cold days.
He also tells SFR he tried to stay in touch with Story following the campaign, but that Story didn’t return at least 25 of his telephone calls. Smith also claims his vehicle’s tires were slashed in June or July. Smith did not file a police report and says he replaced his tires with used ones.
Watch the video: