The Texas K-9 stabbing suspect who was on the run following the discovery of his father’s body at a home he was staying at has been taken into custody, police say.
Ryan Smith was arrested Tuesday afternoon after being spotted walking along Highway 159 in Waller County, according to the Houston Police Department. The 26-year-old, who had been bonded out of jail Sunday, now faces a felony evading charge in addition to others stemming from alleged incidents involving him over the weekend.
“HPD detectives will question him about the death of his father,” police added, after earlier calling Smith a person of interest in that case.
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The saga began Saturday morning when Houston Police say they received a call about an attempted carjacking.
“Witnesses stated Smith had left the location and went to a nearby store where he stole merchandise and fled,” police said in a statement.
Investigators then tracked Smith down to an apartment parking garage, where “he attempted to evade officers” but was taken into custody behind a building.
However, a K-9 dog named “Nate” — who was the first to catch up to Smith at the eventual scene of his arrest – suffered a “deep stab wound to the chest area” after Smith apparently attacked the animal with a butcher knife, Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite told reporters over the weekend.
“He’s a very valued member to the team – he’s done great work so obviously we are all very concerned for him,” Satterwhite said about the dog, who is now recovering with his police handler after undergoing surgery.
Smith was charged with evading arrest, interference with a police service animal and robbery with bodily injury, according to police.
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The next day, Houston Police Cmdr. Kevin Deese says family members bonded Smith out of jail, and he was brought back to stay at his father’s home in western Houston.
But on Monday morning, the family members grew concerned they hadn’t heard from Smith’s father, Deese continued.
They went over to search the property and “didn’t find anything of immediate concern” other than the father had left his cell phone behind, which was “uncharacteristic” of him, Deese said.
Later that day, investigators descended on the home for a second search – and while that was ongoing, they noticed a pickup truck belonging to Smith’s father had parked down the street with its lights off, Deese said.
After confirming that Smith was in its driver’s seat, he raced off and led police on achase, which culminated in Smith crashing the truck and fleeing on foot near the Memorial Park area, according to Deese, who added that investigators found a gun inside the vehicle.
Homicide detectives then continued the search at the home and early Tuesday found the father “in the garage dead from what is apparently not natural causes,” Deese said. “He was hidden in a location that made it very difficult for anybody to find him which is why when the family came by the first time they probably did not see him.”
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Police did not release the name of the father or his cause of death – but noted there were no apparent signs of a struggle at the home.
The investigation remains ongoing Wednesday.