Indian Trail man accused of illegally removing median in neighborhood

Indian Trail man accused of illegally removing median in neighborhood
Ryan Kevin Smith (Union County Sheriff's Office)

UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - An Indian Trail man is facing charges after deputies say he removed a portion of a landscaping median from the street in front of his home after being denied permission to do so.

Ryan Kevin Smith, 32, is charged with two counts of injury to real property and one count of felony conversion. Smith allegedly removed the median from Braxton Drive in the Brandon Oaks neighborhood.

Officials say Smith, an engineer with the City of Monroe, sought permission from the Town of Indian Trail to have the portion of the median removed - but that request was denied.

About a week later, Smith hired a company to work on a road project for the City of Monroe. He allegedly spoke to the company superintendent about hiring them to remove the median in front of his home but the superintendent refused. Investigators say he then spoke to another employee, a foreman, who agreed to the job.

Smith reportedly paid the foreman from his personal funds to take an excavator from the Monroe project to his neighborhood to remove the median. Officials say he was also going to use asphalt left over from the Monroe project to pave the area, but was stopped when deputies were called to the scene.

A before and after picture of the median removed. (Union County Sheriff's Office)
A before and after picture of the median removed. (Union County Sheriff's Office)

The City of Monroe confirmed that Smith, who was hired in April 2016, was placed on administrative leave while the investigation was underway.

“City staff continues to investigate the incident and has not found any evidence that city funds were used in support of the alleged crimes,” Monroe officials said. “We will continue to monitor the situation.”

No further information has been released.

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