Spring Grove-area man shot by cop pleads guilty to harassing 13-year-old

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A Jackson Township man shot by a Southwestern Regional police officer while he was handcuffed outside a Spring Grove bank last year has pleaded guilty to charges related to him lewdly harassing a 13-year-old girl in a Hanover convenience store.

As part of Ryan Shane Smith Jr.'s negotiated guilty plea, a felony charge of bribery was dropped, according to court records. He had been accused of trying to bribe a Hanover police officer after being arrested.

Smith, 34, of Nashville Boulevard, pleaded guilty in York County Court on Tuesday, Dec. 17, to the misdemeanors of harassment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In exchange for his plea, he was sentenced to two years' probation, according to court records.

Smith — who has ongoing mental-health issues — is still serving prison time on a probation violation related to his 2017 aggravated assault case, defense attorney Kurt Blake confirmed, adding that Smith also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from being shot.

"He's been through a lot in the past year or so," Blake said. "He's just trying to move forward in a positive way and improve himself."

The judicial system doesn't really have the ability to deal with Smith's issues, Blake said, but Smith is taking classes and participating in other ways in York County Prison to better himself.

Ryan Shane Smith

While pleading guilty Tuesday, Smith acknowledged he told the girl she had a "phat a—" before realizing she wasn't 18, according to Blake, who said Smith didn't admit to everything Hanover Police had accused him of.

Caused disturbance: Hanover Police Officer Justin Alston arrested Smith shortly after 4 p.m. July 5 after Smith caused a disturbance in the Royal Farms store at 101 Carlisle St., according to court documents.

People in the store said Smith drank a 25-ounce can of Natural Light while in the store and that he spoke inappropriately to a 13-year-old girl by saying, "you should let me hit that," documents state.

The girl reported that Smith asked her when she was going to turn 18 "because he wanted to 'get a piece of that,' and also told her she was gorgeous and sexy," documents state.

The girl said she told Smith not to speak to her because she was only 13. She said he then followed her out of the store and confronted her and her friends outside at the gas pumps, police said.

More:Man shot by cop in Spring Grove had 4 police encounters earlier that day

More:Police officer facing trial in shooting at Spring Grove bank

She told police that Smith called her a b— and said he would fight and beat up her and her friends, court documents state.

Officers took Smith to Hanover's police station, where they found a piece of aluminum foil in his possession that was coated with burned marijuana residue, police said.

Alston was preparing to release Smith from restraints when Smith allegedly said, "I'll give you like five hundred if you don't charge me," court documents allege.

Shot by cop: Southwestern Regional Police Officer Stu Harrison, 57, of East Manchester Township, remains charged with simple assault for shooting Smith in the leg in the parking lot of the Santander Bank at 39 W. Hanover St. in Spring Grove on May 30, 2018.

Southwestern Regional Police Officer Stu Harrison

Preliminary hearing testimony revealed Harrison thought he'd grabbed his Taser — which resembles a handgun — but had actually grabbed his duty handgun, put it against Smith's leg and fired as the unarmed, handcuffed Smith struggled with officers trying to put him in a police cruiser.

Smith was arrested in the bank after being disorderly and refusing to leave — demanding his money even though he had no account there, according to testimony.

After being shot by Harrison, Smith spent 11 hours in surgery for the gunshot wound he suffered, according to his mother, Christine Smith.

He spent a month recuperating in the hospital, she has said. 

Christine Smith said she told Harrison after the shooting, "You just shot my son," and that Harrison responded, "I didn't mean to."

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.