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Former deputy faces felony assault charges

Original post made on Jan 2, 2014

A January court hearing is ahead for former deputy Colin Troy Smith of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Mr. Smith pleaded not guilty on Dec. 19 to residential burglary and assault and battery that caused "great bodily injury," according to prosecutors.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 2, 2014, 12:51 PM

Comments (14)

Posted by tony
a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm

I say throw the book at him. An officer has double the liability as far as I'm concerned. I'm tired of them thinking they are above the law.

Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 3, 2014 at 7:56 am

Thank you Dave Boyce and Almanac for this story.
Colin Troy Smith has received some very favorable treatment from the DA's office and the Redwood City Police Department. Both kept his name from the public when he was arrested which is not their job.

Posted by history guy
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jan 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Peace officers with anger-management problems should not be peace officers.

Posted by Ron
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm

I love it when government departments say they can't talk about something because it's a "personnel issue." So what is so sacrosanct about employees or ex-employees that we can't learn why they were fired or of adverse actions taken against them? These people are employed .... by us.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm


it's the law. talk to your legislators about changing the law. Not likely to happen though since the legislators are all in the pockets of organized labor unions including law enforcement unions.

Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jan 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm


Santa Clara DA Jeff Rosen has been very forthcoming with the press about how he disciplines prosecutors who commit misconduct. He has no compunctions about telling the public about why they've been fired.

Can the San Mateo Sheriff's office cite the precise "law" that forbids -*cough*- them from talking about reasons someone is fired?

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm


it's called the Peace Officers' Bill of Rights. Look it up. It sucks but it's the law.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I don't think that the law sucks at all. I think it's a good law. We can stay safe w/out knowing all of these details. His ex, on the other hand, knows plenty & it hasn't kept her safe. Or someone else in her life. It's terrible.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm


would you consider yourself safe if this guy was still working? Would you be comfortable if he stopped you or showed up to your house? This would be a good law if we didn't have a DA that protected officers like this guy. Believe me, I'm ex law enforcement and I generally agree this COULD be a good law if it wasn't for the likes of Steve Wagstaffe and his ilk. If Wagstaffe had some way of making this go away he would have.

The Santa Clara County DA is a different story and always has been. The POBR works there because they don't have a DA with a philosophy of protecting cops at all costs.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 3, 2014 at 11:16 pm

It would depend on what the call was for, most likely. I've seen cops with rightfully dangerous reps do fine on many, many calls. I hold their privacy more important than the whims of power. I suspect that this man is a bigger mess off duty than on - & now, thankfully, he's permanently off duty. And brain chemistry-wise, he'll likely always be off.

Believe me, I've encountered my share of problem cops, including one who went to prison (not jail) for physical harm to others he did on the job. Unfortunately, he was very interested in me for awhile, before his true character was known, but I was never interested in him. I say unfortunately because his focus on me was weird & intense.

MV - remember where I live. Obviously, I read the news. My town has had more than its share of rogue cops. I've also worked around the various degrees of LEO weirdness, too. Oh, let me add - prosecutor weirdness, too - the weirdest not in our county, btw.

I've witnessed questionable behavior by deputies of the S.O., too. Still, I don't believe that not knowing the gritty details is a huge enough problem to erode privacy rights. I do believe that problems like Wagstaffe need to go away, however. It's addressing and weeding out the bad eggs (mixed metaphors!) and the empire builders that we need to address in our county.

I hope that this nasty, dangerous bully gets smart, leaves his victims alone, and that they recover and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Posted by Oh boy
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2014 at 3:03 pm

This jackass is facing jail and doesn't have a whole lot to lose at this point. If I were his ex-girlfriend I would go into hiding. I know it's a drastic step but this guy is out of control. There isn't a whole lot she can do to protect herself. BTW, why isn't this guy in jail? Hello? History tells us that's where these guys belong.

Posted by Kim
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jan 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm

He is out on bail, are you kidding? So now he is free to get a gun and cause more heartache and damage?

Posted by Justice
a resident of another community
on Jan 21, 2014 at 8:39 am

It is astonishing to me that no one here has taken into consideration that this man is innocent until proven guilty.

The facts of this case are unknown to the readers of this article. All we know is what the District Attorney has told us. If you know anything about the system then you would know that it is very common for the DA's office to overwhelm the defendant with often ridiculous charges in the hope of gaining a plea agreement.

This man was a police officer for almost 20 years, and it is my understanding that his record was unblemished. In the HMB Review the defendant stated he was in a relationship, and he was defending himself. Is it impossible that this woman has lied to save her reputation?

If that is what happened, what a horrible thing to go through.

Give him his day in court before you hang him.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 21, 2014 at 9:35 am


you are right about the DA's office over charging in normal circumstances. This is not a normal circumstance, a police officer is involved. The DA has shown a distinct predilection for doing everything he can to AVOID charging police officers with any crime, even when it's blatant. What that tells me is that this was so blatant and over the top that he simply had no choice. Yes, he's innocent until proven guilty and he'll have his day in court. My bet is he'll cop a plea or he'll be convicted.

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