Warren Aaron Smith Jr., 27, of Roanoke Rapids, was released upon his written promise to appear in district court on March 20 for the charges.
The charges, according to the SBI arrest warrant, come after a June 12, 2017, matter in which Smith reportedly threatened physical injury to the victim and then reportedly assaulted him.
Specifically, the warrant filed by SBI Agent C. Cloutier on March 1 says there is probable cause to believe the defendant “unlawfully and willfully did threaten physical injury” to the victim. “The threat was communicated he was going to beat his ass and the threat was made in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat was likely to be carried out” and the victim who was threatened believed the threat would be carried out.
On the assault and battery charge, the warrant says there is probable cause to believe the defendant “willfully did assault and strike” the victim by grabbing him and knocking him to the ground.
Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp said this afternoon, “On or about June 12, 2017, Aaron Smith’s employment ended at the sheriff’s office. Also on or about that same date the SBI was called.”
Asked whether the time between the alleged offenses and the filing of the warrant was reflective of the time the SBI spent investigating the case, Tripp said, “I have no control over when the SBI investigates or when they bring charges.”
Investigation, according to court records, stems from a call in which the victim, Eric Anthony Centeno, was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and misdemeanor resisting a public officer. He has a May 30 court date.