Local cop gets an undue break in S.D.

In life, you get what you bring to the table. Or do you? When Seattle police detective Ron Smith and four other members of the Iron Pigs motorcycle club, all off-duty at the time, rumbled into the biker mecca of Sturgis, S.D., on Aug. 9, packing, they self-prophesized a near-deadly outcome.

In a bar fight, Smith got the final word by shooting Hells Angels member Joseph Patrick McGuire. Smith was originally charged with two felonies, aggravated assault and perjury, but those charges were dropped. The gun, once thought by officials in South Dakota, to be police issued, was bought by Smith in 1996 from the Seattle police Athletic Association. The assault charge was dropped because attorneys for the state of South Dakota determined Smith was assaulted first.

But whether Smith, who has had Hells Angels run-ins before, was assaulted first or not is irrelevant. Why would he feel compelled to bring a gun to the country's biggest biker rally? Maybe the next time he goes to Disneyland or to a Mariners game, he should come packing. Why would anyone do that? It simply invites confrontation. If he had left the gun at home, there would be no issue. But he, for whatever reason, felt compelled to bring it along on his vacation. The irony is that all charges, except the misdimeanor stemming from the shooting, have been dropped. And that's a crime. Cop or not, bringing a deadly weapon with you on vacation is never a good idea.[[In-content Ad]]