Wildwood, FL — An apparently trigger happy cop is under investigation this week after he was captured on video ramming his gun into a subdued man’s head. Former Wildwood Detective Chris Smalt quietly resigned after the incident in a likely attempt to avoid any repercussions.
The incident unfolded last May when Smalt and another officer initiated a pursuit to catch Travis Jerrod Mosley who was alleged to have brandished a gun during an argument. The chase lasted for several miles reaching speeds up to 100 mph. During the chase, Mosley’s car was smashed and one of the patrol cars caught on fire.
After his car was disabled, Mosley got out and ran. Eventually, however, he came to a stop, according to police, and surrendered. As Smalt came up on the surrendering man, he then fired off a shot, which is completely against department policy.
“He was armed, supposedly, so I just put one in the ground when I was close to him so he understood the situation. He stopped immediately. I just didn’t want to tackle someone who might be armed,” Smalt said.
Mosley was not armed.
When investigators found that Smalt violated company policy by firing an alleged warning shot, the officer was suspended for three days. They still had no idea that Smalt put the gun to the man’s head. However, once Smalt found out his superiors knew about the gun to the head incident, he retired.
As WFTV reports:
After the fact, investigators found out about Smalt putting his gun to Mosley’s head.
Once investigators got the video showing Smalt putting the gun to Mosley’s head, they sent the case to the state attorney’s office to review.
No charges were filed. The Police Department then asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to look into it.
Channel 9 learned Smalt retired shortly after the warning shot investigation was finished.
The results of the FDLE investigation are currently unknown.
Despite Smalt claiming he fired a warning shot, it is entirely likely that he claimed this after the fact and may have actually tried to kill Mosley and just missed. We have seen instances like this unfold before.
In fact, just this week, TFTP reported on the case of Officer Zachary Helbig. Helbig was charged with manslaughter last year after he shot and killed an unarmed man for absolutely no reason. Sadly, however, because people are blinded by the sheen of the badge, last week, a jury acquitted Helbig for executing Shawn Billinger on Jan. 16, 2019.
As we reported this week, on that fateful January afternoon, Helbig responded to a call at a Shell gas station. The reason for the response remains sealed, however, the video shows Billinger was not a threat and was unarmed when Helbig executed him.
As the video shows, Helbig is interviewing individuals at the gas station before driving after Billinger. The woman appears to be Billinger’s girlfriend and is telling the officer she is upset that they broke up. She then points to Billinger who is driving by in his van. Helbig then gets in his cruiser and pursues Billinger.
When Billinger gets out of his van he walks behind a house. When Helbig confronts him, Billinger begins walking toward Helbig saying “kill me.” Helbig, who was apparently so scared of the unarmed mentally ill man his only option was deadly force, quickly obliged and murdered him on the spot. He never once attempted less lethal force. He simply killed a man because he was scared.
Smalt may have had a similar level of fright when firing off his gun toward Mosley.