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Tampa man with lengthy criminal record sues prison for $250K, says table ‘fell on him’

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Jules Rashard Smith

A Tampa man with a lengthy criminal record, which includes kicking an arresting officer in the face, is now suing the prison for $250,000.

He claims a mess hall table “fell on him.”

Jules Rashard Smith is a 32-year-old Tampa resident and father with a significant criminal and prison record. In 2006, Smith was sent to prison for burglary and threatening harm; and in 2012, he was imprisoned for child abuse and domestic battery by strangulation.

In 2015, Smith was arrested for striking the mother of his child, strangling her (she survived with minor injuries), and kicking an arresting officer in the face.

Court records show Smith was initially sentenced to probation, but then went to prison in August 2016 for violating probation. Smith also failed to report an address change and violated curfew., he was found guilty April 2016 of disorderly intoxication.

Officer Kevin Riley noted that Smith: “Was just placed on a new supervision for three years and is already playing games with his probation.” At one time, Smith told police he was living with grandparents Jeff and “Thrice” Arnold In Tampa, a statement that later turned out to be false.

On Feb. 17, 2017, Smith – along with fellow inmate John Henry Frederick – were sitting in the mess hall at Graceville Work Camp, in the Panhandle’s Jackson County. According to a handwritten complaint filed Feb. 27 in Hillsborough County Circuit Court without the help of an attorney, “the Dinning [sic] Hall Table Fall [sic] on me.”

Smith asserts that both Frederick and video surveillance recording of the mess hall will serve as witnesses to his situation.

In the claim, Smith demands that his rights “be respected, and all law enforcement personnel and their agents and prosecutors and their agent avoid conversing with me concerning any type of criminal activity.”

Smith says he has suffered “great pain,” especially in his arm and lower back, and is demanding $250,000 or more for “future needs and medical treatments.” His prison record shows he is expected to be released from jail April 2.

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