Houston robbery suspect who stabbed K-9 during arrest now under investigation in dad’s death

HOUSTON — The allegations against Ryan Mitchell Smith are numerous.

Smith, 26, of Houston, was arrested over the weekend amid allegations that he robbed two men on Saturday before stabbing a police K-9. The dog, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Nate, survived.

Now, authorities allege that Smith, who works for a crime scene cleanup company, may be responsible for the death of his father. A man’s body was found Monday in a “difficult to find” part of the older man’s garage.

The name of the dead man had not been released as of Wednesday morning.

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Thus far, Smith has been charged with robbery with bodily injury, interference with a police service animal and evading arrest, Houston police officials said Monday in a statement. He is being held without bond in the Harris County Jail.

ABC 13 in Houston reported that police first became aware of Smith on Saturday, when his mother called 911. She said her son had just left her home, looking for guns and threatening to take his own life.

Police officials allege that he assaulted a man later that day as he tried to steal the victim’s vehicle. According to court documents, he threatened to kill the man if he didn’t hand over his car keys.

“Witnesses stated Smith had left the location and went to a nearby (H-E-B) store where he stole merchandise and fled,” authorities said in a statement. “Officers then located Smith inside a nearby apartment parking garage (at 800 Memorial Heights Drive) and he attempted to evade officers.”

Despite a perimeter being set up, Smith was able to get out of the parking garage. Officers then unleashed K-9s, including Nate, who tracked Smith to where he was hiding in a nearby yard.

It was then that Smith stabbed the dog in the chest with a large butcher knife, according to police.

“I heard the police say, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ And that’s when I opened the door,” Sylvia Young told ABC 13. “The guy that they were looking for ended up stabbing their K-9. There was blood all in our backyard, blood on the sidewalk and everything.”

Watch ABC 13′s report on Nate’s stabbing below.

Smith, who is described as homeless in court records, was taken into custody and Nate was rushed to an emergency veterinary office, where he underwent surgery. Police officials released a photo of the K-9 on Monday that showed him resting in a kennel at the home of his partner.

Meanwhile, Smith was released from jail Sunday after his family posted a combined bond of $50,000. He went to stay at his father’s house at 14711 Carolcrest Drive, which is the home address listed in his court records.

Commander Kevin Deese, head of the department’s homicide division, said during a news conference Tuesday that family members became concerned on Monday when Smith’s father could not be reached.

“Family members came to the location, they searched the property and they didn’t find anything of immediate concern other than the fact that (Smith’s father) had left his cellphone behind, which was uncharacteristic,” Deese said.

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Investigators from the homicide division, along with detectives from the missing persons unit, went to the home on Monday and met with the family before conducting a search of their own. Still, nothing suspicious was found.

That changed around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

“While our officers were on the scene, they noticed the pickup truck that belonged to our decedent showed up on the location, down the street with the lights off,” Deese said.

Detectives and Texas state troopers drove by and saw that Smith was behind the wheel of the truck. Smith then sped away.

Marked and unmarked patrol cars followed, and Smith led authorities on a chase until he crashed the truck near Memorial Park. He bailed out of the vehicle and ran away on foot.

Smith evaded arrest until he was spotted on Tuesday afternoon, walking along Highway 159 in Austin County. He was taken into custody without incident.

Meanwhile, investigators at his father’s house had continued searching the home.

“Unfortunately, in the early part of this morning, they found our decedent in the garage, dead from apparently not natural causes,” Deese said Tuesday. “But he was hidden in a location that made it very difficult for anybody to find him.”

An autopsy is being conducted to determine how the man died.

Neighbors expressed shock at the suspected violence in their neighborhood.

“We have constables that come and patrol here often,” Rex Casanover told the Houston Chronicle. “That was one of the reasons why we moved her, but it just goes to show you the signs of the times we live in.”

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