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New risk protection order law leads to arrest of man with AR-15 rifle

Jerron Smith, 31, previously arrested on attempted murder charge

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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – The Broward Sheriff's Office is crediting the new risk protection order law for leading to the arrest of a Deerfield Beach man and the confiscation of an AR-15 rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said in a news release that detectives also seized a bump stock and "numerous other weapon-related items from his home Thursday night."

According to Coleman-Wright, BSO applied for a temporary RPO against Jerron Smith, 31, on Wednesday.

A Broward County judge granted the temporary RPO on Thursday, which required Smith to surrender his firearms and ammunition to law enforcement. 

Detectives and deputies from the BSO's Civil Division and its SWAT team went to Smith's home, in the 200 block of Southwest Third Street in Deerfield Beach, shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday to serve the order, but Smith refused to turn over his weapons and ammunition and would not allow authorities inside his home, Coleman-Wright said.

Authorities later seized the weapons and ammunition after obtaining a search warrant.

Coleman-Wright said the arrest is believed to be the first of its kind in the state for violation of an RPO since it became law on March 9.

Smith is being held in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

Smith's neighbor, Lorenzo Brown, told Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol that he has known the Army veteran for 20 years and was disappointed to hear about his arrest.

"They just raided his house, found all of his weapons, or whatever, (and) they just took it," Brown said. "He spent a lot of money for his weaponry."

Coleman-Wright said the RPO was sought after Smith was arrested March 29 on an attempted murder charge.

Authorities said Smith shot into a vehicle occupied by a man who went to Smith's home to return his cellphone.  

Deputies said Smith was waiting for the victim outside as he arrived and was holding a gun.

Smith threatened to shoot the victim if he didn't return his phone, Coleman-Wright said. 

Authorities said Smith fired several rounds into the victim's vehicle as he was leaving.

"He said he wasn't going to kill him. He was just going to scare him," Smith's neighbor, identified only as Nicole, said. 

Nicole said Smith talked often to her about his weapons and sometimes used them as intimidation tactics. 

Smith was released from jail two days later on a $3,000 bond and supervision of pretrial services.

"The newly signed law is clearly proving its worth to law enforcement and the public," Sheriff Scott Israel said in a statement. "We are thankful to have this valuable tool at our disposal to help keep deadly weapons out of the hands of individuals who demonstrate an obvious threat to themselves or others." 

Coleman-Wright said Smith was also arrested on Feb. 3, 2017, after pointing a rifle at a woman, threatening to shoot her and barricading himself inside a home when deputies arrived to arrest him. 

The state ultimately declined to pursue charges against Smith in that case.

Authorities said Smith was also arrested on May 28, 2016, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following an incident in which he pulled a knife on a victim and threatened him with it. 

"The new risk protection law is intended to give law enforcement officers the authority they need to remove weapons from violent or mentally ill individuals," Coleman Wright said in the news release. 


About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.