Last Monday the married police deputies Susan K. Smithers, 34, and Roland Smithers, 37, were lucky when they were able to subdue a man with a rifle after he attacked both of them.
At 3:17 p.m. that day, Deputy Roland Smithers responded to an alarming emergency call coming from Rumphannock. The caller was farmer Clem R. Kadiddlehopper, 69, who complained about shots being fired. The incident took place at his property at the intersection of County Highway K and Cussville Road.
When arriving at the scene, Kadiddlehopper already waited for the deputy and shouted out of his house that there is an armed man in the field behind his barn. A few minutes later, Deputy Susan Smithers arrived at the scene for backup. What happened next was a battle and a life threatening situation.
Hiding behind an open barn door, both deputies shouted for the suspect to drop his gun and come out of his hiding place with his hands up. The man had just fired his first rifle shot. Two more shots followed. After that, the suspect finally appeared out of his hiding place, carrying a rifle as well as a liquor bottle.
After the couple shouted again for the man to drop his gun, the armed suspect finally followed their orders. After he fell on his knees and appeared to be crying, the deputies approached him in attempt to arrest him.
What happened next was a real shock. The suspect lunged at Susan Smithers and grapped her neck in a choke hold. She dropped her weapon and began a struggle with the man. Roland Smithers could break his wife free but then got attacked himself.
Luckily, Smither’s wife had a Taser device with her. She employed it on the suspect and temporarily disabled him. The deputies put handcuffs on the man and managed to place him in the squad car.
The suspect is Robert L. Worthington, 48, who just got divorced and lost his job at Susquehanna Steel Corp. in Kittatinny.
“I wasn’t gonna hurt no one,” were the words Worthington used to defend himself. He is now at the Susquehanna County Jail in Kittatinny and has to wait for a bail hearing on Tuesday. He is framed for public intoxication, trespassing, two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer, and a reckless use of a deadly weapon.
“Mr. and Mrs. Smithers don’t usually work the same shift, and they told me this was the first time they had ever responded to an incident together,” the sheriff said.
Normally, it is untypical for a married couple to work together for the police. Usually, the county is prohibited to hire spouses. However, the state wanted to fulfill the goals of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Gender Equity Act of 1996, with leads to both husband and wife being allowed to work together. The law encourages that more women should be hired as police offices, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers.
Susan and Robert Smithers were fortune that they could get out of this dangerous situation. They did not had to use lethal force at the incident and nobody got hurt. Their luck was a true miracle.