UPDATE 1:42 p.m. (4/15/22): On Friday afternoon, Christiansburg officials told WFXR News that police are no longer looking for a second man — previously described as possibly armed and dangerous — who reportedly ran away from a Thursday morning traffic stop.

Authorities say they believe they have accounted for all of the individuals involved in the incident, adding that 31-year-old Robert Joseph Franklin Smith Jr. of Christiansburg — who was arrested on Thursday and brought to LewisGale Montgomery Regional Hospital after experiencing a medical emergency on the way to the Montgomery County Magistrates Office — is the only one being charged at this time.

According to the Town of Christiansburg, Smith is being charged with the following:

  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, which is believed to be stolen from Giles County
  • Driving while suspended
  • Damage to unattended property valued at less than $1,000
  • Obstruction of justice

As of this writing, officials say there is no longer a threat to the Christiansburg community.



UPDATE 4:22 p.m.: Christiansburg authorities have released additional information about the ongoing manhunt for an individual — who may be armed — after he ran away from a traffic stop Thursday morning, as well as a second person who was already taken into custody.

According to the Christiansburg Police Department, just after 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 14, an officer conducted a routine traffic stop in the 2700 block of Roanoke Street for a vehicle with an expired inspection.

While the officer was trying to pull the vehicle over, the department says the driver sped up, ran over a traffic sign, and pulled into a parking lot, where both the driver and a passenger got out and ran away.

With help from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, police say they were able to arrest 31-year-old Robert Joseph Franklin Smith Jr. of Christiansburg.

However, while authorities were transporting Smith to the Montgomery County Magistrates Office, he started experiencing a medical emergency. Christiansburg Rescue arrived on scene less than 30 seconds after they were called to transport Smith to LewisGale Montgomery Regional Hospital.

There is no word on Smith’s medical status at this time, but officials say charges are still pending.

Meanwhile, the department says officers are still searching for the second individual — described as a white man with tattoos who was last seen wearing jeans, but no shirt or shoes.

Authorities tell WFXR News they have deployed both K9 tracking units and drone units in order to track down the second man, but as of this writing, he has yet to be located.

During this ongoing investigation, police discovered the vehicle the individuals were using was reported stolen on Wednesday, April 13 from Giles County.

“While there is no information indicating the suspect poses a threat to the public, residents in neighborhoods along Roanoke Street near the top of Christiansburg Mountain are encouraged to keep their vehicles and residences locked, and be alert to any suspicious persons,” the department said in a Thursday afternoon statement.



CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Christiansburg community members are asked to stay inside their homes while police search for a “possibly dangerous” individual after a traffic stop.

According to the Christiansburg Police Department’s Facebook post just before 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, there is a heavy police presence on Roanoke Street near Dunlap Drive as authorities track down the person who ran away from a traffic stop.

Officials say they have already taken another person into custody.

The department urges people to avoid the area and stay inside with their doors locked. If you notice any suspicious activity, you are asked to call 911.

This is a developing story.