RIDGE MANOR — A Pasco County firefighter was arrested early Monday on a charge of domestic battery.
Deputies were called out to Robert H. Smith's home on Emerald Drive in Hernando County after a cabdriver told authorities Smith and his wife went inside to get his $116.30 fare and never returned. The driver said he picked the couple up at Club Envy — a nightclub in Tampa — and that Smith was verbally abusive to his wife and hit her twice on the ride to their home, according to a report from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. The report said Smith's wife gave the driver $7 and went inside to get the rest about 2 a.m. but didn't come back outside.
A deputy arrived and told the couple they needed to pay the fare or they would be arrested. Smith allegedly threw a wad of cash at his wife and screamed expletives at her and told the deputy to get out of his house, the report states. Smith and his wife both appeared to be intoxicated, according to the report.
Smith, 43, was released from the Hernando County jail Monday. Assistant Chief Mike Ciccarello of Pasco Fire Rescue said Smith has been with the department since October 2006 and he's been a good employee without any discipline problems. Ciccarello said Smith has not been suspended because the charge is a misdemeanor. Ciccarello said he and other senior staff members talked with Smith Tuesday.
"People make mistakes," Ciccarello said.