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Shirtless Minn. man tased for resisting arrest after allegedly stealing three pickups

Joseph Edward Anthony Smalley

After allegedly stealing and operating three different pickup trucks, resisting a Pierce County Deputy and damaging a squad car radio antenna wire, Joseph Edward Anthony Smalley of Wabasha, Minn. was arrested in the Town of Oak Grove on Friday, Aug. 10.

Smalley has been charged with two felony counts of operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, taking and driving a vehicle without owner's consent and abandoning the vehicle, resisting an officer and criminal damage to property.

According to a criminal complaint:

A Century Link employee witnessed 30-year-old Smalley, a white man wearing shorts and no shirt, drive up to a worksite at at 1150 Street and 478th Avenue in a red Ford pickup, which he abandoned to drive off in the employee's white Chevy work truck with keys in the ignition. The employee attempted to stop Smalley but gave up before being potentially run over, though he was ultimately unharmed. Later he walked north on 1150th Street and saw his truck parked along the road. His cell phone, cooler and wallet were missing from the work truck. Three items that did not belong to the employee were inside the truck that he left untouched. DNA samples were taken from the truck by an investigator.

The Pierce County deputy dispatched to the employee's location was advised earlier while enroute that the suspect had dropped off the Century Link truck and had stolen another pickup, this time a green Ford truck, and was driving on County Road QQ. The owner of that truck and his son had been chasing Smalley in another vehicle and saw him exit their truck at a residence on County Road QQ.

Other Pierce County deputies were dispatched to that scene and a Prescott officer was requested for aid. The green truck was found in a driveway with two other vehicles nearby. Smalley was found wearing his shorts and no shirt but had a yellow traffic vest lopsidedly on his torso, appearing agitated while two other men were yelling at him.

One man said Smalley had stole his truck, and a deputy ordered for Smalley to turn around and put his hands behind his back for arrest.

Smalley did not comply and the deputy told him again to put his hands behind his back. The deputy pulled out his Taser and pointed it towards Smalley; after ordering him to put his hands behind his back Smalley still refused and began running toward the green truck.

He continued running past the two other parked vehicles and the deputy chased after him telling him to stop twice, which he did not either time. The deputy deployed his Taser which impacted Smalley in the back.

After multiple attempts to escape the Taser wires and the deputy, the deputy re-activated the Taser three more times before having assistance to arrest Smalley.

No weapons or illegal items were found on Smalley's person. He had told the investigator his name was Chris Brown, though the picture ID in his wallet indicated his true identity.

All three vehicles did not have any signs of damage and the Century Link employee's cooler and sunglasses were retrieved as well as a check belonging to the owner of the red truck Smalley had first stolen and abandoned.

Smalley was medically cleared by the hospital before being brought to the jail, but had managed to pull radio system wires out from a deputy's squad car while he was behind the prisoner seat, damaging the radio.

Smalley's preliminary hearing is set 2 p.m. Oct. 15.

Rachel Helgeson

Rachel Helgeson

(651) 301-7864