EUFAULA, Ala. (WRBL) – Eufaula Police have a man in custody after he allegedly made “violent, threatening communications with local businesses.”
Richie Early Smith, 24, of Eufaula, is in custody. Smith is charged with four class C felony counts of terrorist threats. Smith is in the Eufaula City Jail awaiting a bond hearing, according to a news release.
Police said on June 10, just after noon, Smith made threatening communications to two local businesses. Police evacuated both locations, secured as crime scenes and searched them. Both businesses remained closed for the rest of the day.
At 8:46 p.m. police said Smith made additional threatening communications to those businesses, “threatening to harm persons and property the next (Friday) morning.”
Police called their response an “immediate, aggressive and thorough” overnight investigation. During the investigation, police identified Smith as a suspect and obtained a serach warrant for his home.
By 2:30 a.m. on June 11, police said “the resident, suspect, and evidence were tactically secured.”
Police said Smith’s motive appears to be “desiring a day off from work.”
Eufaula Police offered this warning to anyone who might make threats:
“Communications that threaten personal safety, disrupt activity, or insinuate property damage to our business partners and citizenry will not be tolerated and will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted. Technology has evolved to make it seemingly easier for individuals to initiate threatening communications, however, technology has also evolved to assist us in locating and identifying the individuals and devices making such communications. We strongly caution anyone contemplating composing threatening communications to consider their choices wisely.”
Eufaula Police said they were assisted in the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Fusion Center, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the State of Alabama’s Fire MArshal’s Office, the Dothan Police Department, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office and the Eufaula Fire Department.