WASHINGTON, DC (WRIC) — A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on charges that he struck a motorcyclist with his car in June 2020, then fled the scene of the accident and altered police records to conceal his involvement.
According to prosecutors, Thomas Smith, a ten-year veteran of the Capitol Police, was assigned to provide security at the private residence of a member of congress in Georgetown on the night of June 20.
Instead, at 11:34 p.m., Smith began to chase two motorcyclists in a police cruiser. Capitol Police regulations “prohibit police vehicular pursuits outside the Capitol grounds” except in emergencies, and then only with approval from a supervisor. According to prosecutors, Smith made no attempt to communicate with dispatch before engaging in the chase.
Then, as Smith approached an intersection, he struck one of the motorcyclists – identified in the indictment only as W.W. – launching him from the motorcycle and onto the pavement.
It’s then alleged that Smith “drove his sedan around W.W.” and fled the scene without informing anyone of the accident or rendering aid to the injured victim.
Smith returned the damaged sedan to the police parking garage, switching it out for an undamaged SUV. He also altered police records to falsely show that he had been assigned the SUV that night.
When DC Metro Police reported the accident – and the involvement of a Capitol Police sedan – to the Capitol Police, a sergeant asked Smith whether he knew anything about it, and Smith denied his involvement, telling the sergeant he had been driving the SUV through his entire shift.
Smith is now charged with six counts, including:
- Two counts of violating the victim’s civil rights
- One count of obstruction of justice
- Three counts of falsifying records
- One count of making false statements as a government official
Prosecutors say they expect to arraign Smith within the next week.