Woman accused of intentionally ramming vehicle with driver inside

She is set to appear in court Monday.

Joni Smith

SLAYTON — An area woman was arrested on a warrant last week after being charged with assault for an April 7 incident.

The hit-and-run incident was reported outside a Slayton residence. A victim told police that they had pulled over on the side of the road, facing traffic, to talk to some people who were outside. While chatting, the victim said, Joni Smith, 41, of Tracy, drove around the corner in her vehicle, accelerated so fast that her tires squealed, swerved toward the victim's vehicle and clipped the front of it while she drove by.

Smith then stopped, backed up, accelerated again and hit the victim's vehicle head-on, according to the criminal complaint. The collision caused minimal damage to the victim's vehicle and moderate damage to Smith's. Fluids and other parts from her vehicle were found on the street at the scene.

The victim further stated that Smith got out of her vehicle, went over to the victim's window and started pulling on it as if to break it, demanding that the victim enter her vehicle. When the victim refused, Smith reportedly got back in her vehicle and drove off, after which someone at the scene called 9-1-1.

Two people other than the victim witnessed the incident, and one of them captured the scene on video.


Later, Smith texted the victim saying that she had rolled her vehicle in a ditch and needed help. Law enforcement pinged her phone and learned that she was near Avoca, but could not locate her or her vehicle. The search was called off after about two hours.

A warrant was issued, and Smith was arrested April 28. She was charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and first-degree property damage, both felonies. The assault charge carries a maximum possible sentence of seven years in prison and/or a $14,000 fine. She also faces the following misdemeanor charges: two counts of domestic assault, careless driving, reckless driving, failure to stop for a collision and disorderly conduct.

If convicted, Smith will be sentenced based on criminal history.

She was released from Lyon County Jail May 5 after posting non-cash bond. Smith is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning on the charges.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
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