Man shot while handcuffed by Southwestern cop pleads guilty to charges

State police investigate an incident at Santander Bank, 39 W. Hanover St., in Spring Grove Wednesday, May 30. (Photo: Lindsay C. VanAsdalan)

The man shot by a Southwestern Regional Police officer earlier this year while he was handcuffed at the back of a cruiser pleaded guilty to misdemeanors related to the bank incident leading up to the shooting.

On Friday, Nov. 16, Ryan Shane Smith Jr., 32, of Jackson Township, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts  of defiant trespass and disorderly conduct,  and he was sentenced to a year of probation.

Smith was shot  May 30 in the parking lot of Santander Bank, 39 W. Hanover St. in Spring Grove.

On Friday, during Smith's preliminary hearing, District Judge Thomas Reilly asked Smith to tell him what had happened at the bank during the incident in which Smith was charged.

Smith, who entered the courtroom with a cane, told the judge he had just gotten out of the hospital for psychosis that day and was at the bank when an officer came in and "got in" his face.

Guilty: Smith continued that he was tased and then shot, and Reilly questioned if Smith wanted to plead guilty.

Smith's attorney, Seamus Dubbs, told Smith that he was pleading guilty to the events that happened in the bank and not what happened after.

"I guess I didn't leave when they told me to," Smith admitted to the judge.

State police have said Smith refused to leave the bank after asking to withdraw a half-million dollars. 

He was asked to leave the bank numerous times but refused, at which point Southwestern Regional Police were called to the scene, documents state.

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Ryan Shane Smith

Smith struggled with Southwestern Officers Stu Harrison and Michael Matthews and resisted arrest, according to state police, who were asked to investigate the police-involved shooting by the York County District Attorney's Office.

The officers eventually got him out of the bank and partially into the back of a cruiser, documents state, but he wouldn't pull his legs inside the car, documents state.

Witnesses told The York Dispatch that's when one of the officers shot Smith, who was handcuffed, in the leg.

"I still feel like I was treated wrong," Smith said about the shooting before accepting the guilty plea.

As part of his plea agreement, Smith was sentenced to a year of probation that will run concurrently with his other sentences. Additionally, he must continue to undergo mental health treatment.

His two other charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct were withdrawn, according to court records.

After the hearing, Dubbs said his client agrees with the resolution of the case. He also stressed that it was related the first part of the incident and not the shooting.

Smith began talking to a reporter after the hearing, but he was advised to stop talking by his mother and his attorney.

Senior deputy prosecutor John Hamme said afterward that the resolution was appropriate. He said often defendants will plea at the magisterial district court level when the charges are grade-three misdemeanors, so the situation Friday was not unusual.

Investigation: Both Harrison and Matthews were placed on paid leave after the incident, Southwestern Regional Police Chief Greg Bean has said.

On Friday, he said Harrison remains on paid leave. Matthews, Bean said, returned to duty within a week of the incident.

State police have not yet concluded their investigation into the shooting, DA's spokesman Kyle King said Friday.

In January 2018, Smith pleaded no contest to aggravated assault, according to online court records. Those records state the incident happened in York City in November 2016.

Smith received a time-served sentence, and he also was sentenced to four years of probation, online court records state. The probation he was sentenced to Friday will run concurrently with his four-year sentence.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.