Metro safety officer suspended for domestic assault amid Metro s - KMOV.com

Metro safety officer suspended for domestic assault amid Metro safety concerns

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Edward Smoote, a public safety officer for Metro, is charged with two counts of domestic assault after allegedly attacking his girlfriend. Edward Smoote, a public safety officer for Metro, is charged with two counts of domestic assault after allegedly attacking his girlfriend.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Following several recent violent incidents on MetroLink trains and buses, a police officer hired by Metro to keep riders safe is accused of domestic assault.

"My faith has been reduced in police officers and something like this definitely makes it worse," said Marcus Ware, a MetroLink rider.

Authorities said 43-year-old Edward Smoote, a public safety officer for Metro, is suspended without pay after being charged with two counts of domestic assault after being accused of choking his girlfriend and punching her in the face multiple times.

"I mean, I think it's terrible," said Destiny Wallace, a MetroLink rider. "The people y'all got out here protecting us are beating up on their own people."

Smoote, who retired from the St. Louis police force as a Lieutenant in 2012 after 22 years with the department, could face a felony conviction in the case. Even if he avoids jail, Smoote's alleged actions risk his job of 2 years with Metro and the business he runs on the side.

As the president of Priority Tactical, a self-defense and firearms training company, in the event Smoote is convicted, he would lose his right to carry and use a firearm, jeopardizing the future of his company.

In the past month, there have been three incidents sparking security concerns with MetroLink and its riders.

On March 13, video of a fight between a metro security guard and a passenger at the Civic Center station surfaced, the fight occurring after the passenger allegedly failed to present a valid ticket.

Just days later, a brawl at the Forest Park Debaliviere station led to a person falling from the platform to the tracks. The person was rescued before the next train arrived at the station.

Last week, a MetroLink rider was attacked on a train, happening near the Debaliviere station. The victim in the attack told News 4 other passenger laughed during the incident and no one stepped in to help him. Two suspects have been charged in the case.

Following the recent security concerns and the news of charges against Smoote, numerous Metro passengers expressed concern to News 4 about the safety of MetroLink trains and buses.

MetroLink released a statement on Smoote, which said he was off duty and off Metro property at the time of the alleged crimes.

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