A 39-year-old Duarte man pleaded not guilty yesterday to felony charges related to a robbery and assault that took place in a Cambodia Town parking lot last week.
Rodrick Smith was charged with one count each of second-degree robbery with a special allegation that he personally inflicted great bodily injury on a 37-year-old woman during the robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon when he allegedly rammed his car into a vehicle driven by her husband.
The charging document also alleges that Smith was previously convicted of driving or taking a vehicle without consent in 1999, bank robbery in 2001, possession for sale of cocaine base in 2011 and carrying a concealed dirk/dagger in 2012, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Authorities said that on the afternoon of April 13, Smith allegedly rear-ended the female victim in a parking lot on the 900 block of East Anaheim Street.
Smith and the female driver reportedly pulled over their cars to exchange information. When the woman called her husband to obtain more car information, Smith allegedly punched her repeatedly in the face, causing her to fall to the pavement.
The defendant then grabbed the woman’s purse, forcibly taking it from her, and returned to his vehicle in an attempt to leave, officials said. When her husband drove into the parking lot to help his wife, Smith allegedly rammed his car into the man’s vehicle, according to prosecutors.
After the crash, Smith reportedly fled the scene and Long Beach paramedics transported the woman to a local hospital with serious injuries she sustained from the assault.
Detectives were able to identify Smith through videos from nearby businesses and on Tuesday, April 18, they arrested him at his work in San Clemente.
Smith faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged.
Based on his prior record, his bail has been set at $1.16 million. He is being held at Men’s Central Jail.