Richie Earl Smith, 24, of Eufaula, Barbour County, Alabama, United States has been arrested by the Eufaula Police Department. Charged with four counts of terrorist threats, he is being held in the Eufaula City Jail awaiting a bond hearing.
Smith is accused of making threatening communications to two cooperative businesses in Eufaula at around 12:31 p.m. on June 10, 2021. Because of this, both businesses remained closed for the rest of the day.
At 8:46 p.m., Smith made additional threatening communications to the two businesses, threatening to harm persons and property the next morning. In the investigation, the Eufaula Police Department was assisted by the Eufaula Fire Department, the State of Alabama’s Fire Marshal’s Office, the Alabama Fusion Center, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Dothan Police Department, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
At 2:30 a.m. on June 11, 2021, Smith was arrested after acknowledging his role in the dissemination of the threatening communications and his apparent motive was merely desiring a day off from work. The Eufaula Police Department stated, “Communications that threaten personal safety, disrupt activity, or insinuate property damage to our business partners and citizenry will not be tolerated and will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”
“Technology has evolved to make it seemingly easier for individuals to initiate threatening communications, however, technology has also evolved to assist us in locating and identifying the individuals and devices making such communications,” the department continued. “We strongly caution anyone contemplating composing threatening communications to consider their choices wisely.”
Eufaula is home to the Walter F. George Lake or Lake Eufaula, which is known as the Big Bass Capital of the World. Some scenes in the 2002 film “Sweet Home Alabama,” which starred Reese Witherspoon, were shot in Eufaula.
Jack B. Tibbs, Jr. is the 32nd and incumbent mayor of Eufaula. He was reelected for his third consecutive term in August 2020.