Fugitive wanted for shooting bounty hunters arrested

Wanted fugitive Reginald "Ricky" Smith, age 28, was arrested Thursday morning around 10:50 am.

Smith was named as the primary suspect in the shooting incident involving two bail bondsmen in the Collinwood area on Cleveland's east side two weeks ago. He was the intended target of the bondsmen due to the fact that he defaulted on his bond in a state drug case he was charged in.

The incident occurred at 16208 St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland on May 21, 2011, at approximately 9:30 PM. Smith was standing in the store when the two bondsmen approached and attempted to serve an arrest warrant on him. A physical altercation quickly ensued which spilled out of the store into the parking lot area. It is alleged that during the struggle, Smith pulled out a Mac-10 semi-automatic handgun and shot both bondsman before fleeing the area.

The following Monday, May 23rd, the Cleveland Police solicited the assistance of the U.S. Marshals led Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force to assist with the case. Deputy Marshals and Task Force Officers quickly began to interview and investigate family and associates of Smith. The information that was ascertained led to a few locations that Smith had been known to frequent.

During the past week, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, with the assistance of the Cleveland Division of Police SWAT Unit, searched numerous residences in Cleveland's fourth district in an attempt to arrest Smith with no avail.

Finally, the Task Force was able to discover evidence showing that Smith was in the company of three individuals the night of the shooting. The Task Force was able to identify the three individuals which led to critical information regarding the location where Smith was eventually apprehended.

Early this morning the Task Force was able to identify an address located at on the 14900 block of Florida Avenue in Cleveland. The Task Force set up surveillance on the residence and started coordinating arrest efforts with the Cleveland Police SWAT Unit. The Task Force then established a tight perimeter surrounding the residence while the SWAT Unit was in route to the residence.

Deputy Marshals and Task Force Officers began calling out on a PA system to Smith inside the residence to surrender. Undoubtedly, Smith seeing that the residence was surrounded with heavily armed police officers knew that the running was over. After a 10 minute wait, Smith exited through the front door of the residence and surrendered to police.

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, "This was a priority case for our task force and we followed the trail relentlessly over the last two weeks and the work paid off today. I am thankful that no one else was injured and that this fugitive is now safely in custody to face these charges."

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a known fugitive is encouraged to contact the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at: 1-866-4-WANTED. Callers may remain anonymous.