Dash cam

Police release dashcam video of congressional candidate’s arrest for drunk driving

” I am really sorry. I have this 97 here and I have this absolutely terrible death tremor,” Smith told Cicale, according to body camera footage POLITICO obtained through a public records request. “Anything over 50 miles per hour, with the suspension it’s…it’s not good.”

Smith’s DUI charge has come under particular scrutiny as, as a 20-year-old college student, he pleaded guilty to homicide while driving a car for driving while intoxicated and killing Kevin Ade, 19 years old. Smith served time in prison for the offense.

Smith, 35, who co-owns a gym in Bellmawr, became a minor right-wing celebrity for keeping his business open and refusing to comply with Covid restrictions at the start of the pandemic. He is now a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 3rd district.

Smith’s campaign suggested that Cinnaminson police were in cahoots with his political opponents, including Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, and called on police to release body camera footage of the arrest.

The interaction: During a traffic stop along Route 130 in the early hours of March 27, Smith told Cicale he was on his way to Delanco from Central Taco & Tequila in Collingswood (the restaurant is technically in Haddonfield).

Cicale asks Smith if he’s had anything to drink. Smith said he “had a drink earlier” and it was a margarita.

The officer says he can smell alcohol on Smith. The officer wrote in his report that he also “observed [Smith’s] eyes being bloodshot and watery.

Throughout their interaction, Cicale asks Smith how many drinks he had. Smith repeatedly says just one, though later in the interaction he says it was “a double margarita.”

Cicale has concluded that, based on Smith’s conduct and his failing a field sobriety test, he is intoxicated and arrests him, according to body camera footage and the report of the ‘officer. Smith claimed he passed the field test before refusing to submit to a breath test at police headquarters.

The field test: Body camera footage during the field sobriety test does not show Smith’s eyes up close when Cicale asks him to follow a light.

Smith manages to walk in a straight line, toe to heel, with some shaking. During the balance portion of the test, Smith loses his balance for approximately 30 seconds and flails his arms.

“Based on your observations, what your eyes are telling me, I’m going to handcuff you for drunk driving tonight,” Cicale told Smith.

Smith then becomes argumentative.

“Hold on, hold on, hold on,” he said. “Why are you taking me into custody? … You take me into custody and I haven’t missed a thing.

Later, on his way to the train station, Smith asks Cicale if he was “paid for all this?” »

” I do my job. I don’t know what you mean – get paid to do what? Cicale responds.

“You know I’m running for Congress in this district, right?” said Smith.

When they arrived at the police station, Smith refused to take a breath test.

Smith has a court date scheduled for April 14. Smith’s campaign consultant Steve Kush declined to comment.

Read the police report on Smith’s arrest here.