Suspect accused of stabbing police dog wanted for questioning regarding dad’s death, HPD says

The body believed to be the suspect’s father was found in the garage of west Houston home. The suspect has since been arrested.

Ryan Mitchell Smith, 26, was located about 2 p.m. Tuesday walking along Highway 159 in Waller County. He was arrested without incident by a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

HOUSTON – Authorities have arrested a man accused of leading law enforcement officers on two separate chases, stabbing a K-9 police dog and wanted for questioning in the death of his father. Ryan Mitchell Smith, 26, was located about 2 p.m. Tuesday walking along Highway 159 in Waller County. He was arrested without incident by a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

How it began

Smith is accused of stabbing a K-9 officer Saturday.

Shortly before 8 a.m., Nate, a Belgian Malinois, was on duty with K-9 Houston Police Department officers following a report of a man apparently carjacking two other men in the 900 block of Memorial Heights Drive.

Here's what we know:

According to police, the man later made his way to H-E-B on Washington Avenue where he reportedly stole a phone charger.

Once officers found the suspect, they established a perimeter at an apartment complex on I-10 and Yale Street.

“He managed to jump buildings, apartment complex parking garages and made his way back out onto a street,” HPD Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite said. “And that’s where our K-9 officer and other officers found him again and there was a foot chase.”

During the chase, Smith allegedly stabbed Nate with a butcher knife.

Smith was taken into custody and charged with evading arrest, robbery with bodily injury, and interference with a police service animal.

How police said latest events unfolded

Smith was bonded out of jail on Sunday by family members.

On Monday morning, family members -- concerned that they hadn’t heard from Smith’s father-- went to his house in the 14700 block of Carolcrest. Smith had been staying with his father there, police said.

Police said family members who went to the house didn’t find anything of immediate concern-- except his cell phone, which was uncharacteristic and likely why they had not been able to reach him.

Authorities got involved on Monday, met with family members again, and didn’t find anything immediately.

While officers were on the scene, HPD said they noticed a pickup truck belonging to the apparent victim. When detectives got closer, they saw Smith behind the wheel of the vehicle. He took off and was being followed by homicide investigators with the Houston Police Department. Detectives waited for marked officers to show up to pull him over. That was followed by a chase that ended in a crash in the Memorial Park area. HPD said Smith took off on foot and managed to escape.

A loaded hunting rifle was discovered in the vehicle, police said.

Police found who they believe to be Smith’s father at the Carolcrest home in the garage Tuesday morning. He was dead from “apparently not natural causes,” according to police, and the body was hidden in a place that family members may not have seen when they looked through the home.

Smith is charged with evading arrest. Any further charges will come pending autopsy.

There are no apparent signs of a struggle in the home, though there was time to clean things up, police noted.

After Smith’s capture, @TxDPSSoutheast posted the following statement on Twitter, “We’re proud that our Trooper was at the right place at the right time, taking a dangerous suspect off our highways and into custody.”

Police also wants to question him about his father's death

RELATED: Robbery suspect accused of stabbing HPD K-9 officer with butcher knife has bonded out, documents state

RELATED: Robbery suspect accused of stabbing K-9 on the run after chase, crash in west Houston: HPD


About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.