It’s been two weeks now since the outsider Republican Congressional Candidate and owner of the infamous Atilis Gym, Ian Smith, was arrested and charged with drunk driving. Immediately after his arrest, Smith called for Cinnaminson Township to release the video of his arrest, which included a nearly ten minute field sobriety test that Smith had claimed he passed, yet the police report says otherwise. The video of the arrest, which has since been released, starts with an Officer following Smith closely as Smith was in the Center lane of Route 130, with a car to the right of him. When a car speeds past Smith’s truck in the left lane, his truck swerves a bit, causing the car in the right lane to move over and hit their brakes. Smith swerves a bit more and at that point the officer initiated the traffic stop.
One odd thing about the video of the traffic stop, is that the first 33 seconds of sound is deleted, so you cannot hear what the officer is saying during that period of time, which included the portion with Smith swerving near the other car. The other odd thing is that the video starts with the Officer already behind Smith, so you cannot tell what happened prior to the time when the video starts with the Officer already five car lengths behind Smith’s truck. Later in the video Smith can be heard asking the Officer, who is a registered Republican, if he got paid, inferring that the officer was setting him up, a claim the officer literally scoffed at.
Smith is currently in a heated battle with the NJ GOP and their establishment candidate, Bob Healy, to win the spot on the ticket to run against incumbent Democratic Congressman, Andy Kim. Many news outlets have reported that Smith asked the Officer if the Officer knew that he was running for Congress to gain some type of favor from the Officer, but that is just not true. Smith asked the officer if he knew he was a candidate for Congress in a series of questions that inferred that the officer was setting him up, not in seeking some type of special treatment from the Officer, as claimed in several major media outlets.
Another oddity was found on Twitter just a day after Smith’s arrest, where Bob Healy’s campaign manager, Theresa Velardi, made a tweet asking for Central Taco to release the video footage from their restaurant. We say this is odd because the information about where Smith had been that evening had not been made public at the time she made the post, so how’d she know where he was at that evening? How was Velardi privy to such information prior to anyone else knowing where Smith had been? Did the GOP have some kind of a tail on Smith that would have let Velardi know his whereabouts and the fact he was at a birthday party that night?
We stopped by Central Taco and spoke with a source that confirmed that Smith was in fact at Central Taco that evening, and that he was at a birthday party, but how’d Velardi know that? The source also opined that Smith, who is a very noticeable person, did not leave intoxicated that evening from Central Taco.
Smith claimed he passed his field sobriety test, a claim disputed by the officers police report. Yet after watching the video of Smith being tested, we must agree with Smith, in our opinion, he passed the field sobriety test. While we know that we are not experts in the area of field sobriety tests, we are experts in the area of identifying when something smells fishy, and this story has the stank of a pond full of dead fish all over it.
We have a saying here at Rabble Rouser Media, an OPRA a day will help to make bad government go away. So with that being said, we made an OPRA to get the 60 minutes of audio and video from the arresting officer’s dash and body cams to find out why they deleted those 33 seconds of sound and what took place prior to officer being 5 car lengths behind Smith. How long was he following him? Was there a call made to the officer from the GOP tail to let him know Smith was on the way?
We will share the videos once they are released to us, but for now, we wait on them and an answer from Velardi as to how she knew that Smith was at Central Taco that evening.