Watch Ohio Fugitive's Chaotic Attack on Marshals with Table Leg, Knife

April 26, 2024
Three U.S. marshals were injured—including one marshal who was stabbed multiple times in the back of the neck—when they were assaulted while trying to arrest a Lorain man on a federal warrant.

By Molly Walsh

Source cleveland.com

LORAIN, OH — A Lorain fugitive attacked federal marshals with a table leg and knife when they tried to arrest him on a warrant last week, authorities say.

That prompted officers to shoot and kill Derrick Smith, 34, on April 18. On Thursday, Lorain police released an officer’s body-camera video, which shows the chaotic moments before marshals fired a Taser twice and later a handgun at Smith.

The officers sought to arrest him on a federal warrant for failure to appear in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. They went to his home in the 900 block of West 21st Street shortly after 8 a.m.

In body-camera footage, a family member allowed officers from the marshals’ fugitive task force into the home.

“Y’all can go up there and get him if you want to,” the woman said.

In the video, officers go to the second floor of the home, where Smith begins to attack them as they attempt to arrest him.

Officers twice used a Taser, but Smith continued to fight. One investigator used a ballistic shield to pin Smith’s left hand, which held the table leg, against a wall. Using his right hand, Smith then stabbed the officer three times in the back of the neck, the video shows.

Smith hit one of the officers with the table leg before shots were fired. It is unclear how many officers fired their weapons at Smith or how many bullets struck him.

The three officers were treated at Lorain Mercy Hospital for their injuries and were released later that day.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Lorain Police Chief James McCann declined to answer any questions from reporters during a press conference on Thursday, citing the ongoing investigation.

“The purpose of this presentation is to simply show the body-worn camera footage and to present it to the public to ensure there’s transparency in what law enforcement is doing,” he said. “They have a right to see what we’re doing.”

cleveland.com and Plain Dealer reporter went to Smith’s home Thursday, where people there declined to comment.

Federal court records show that Smith suffered from mental illness and drug addiction for several years. He failed to show up for a hearing in federal court just days before the marshals arrived to arrest him. He was on post-conviction release.

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