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Madison Heights

June 12, 2013

Suspect struggles with police over Taser

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

MADISON HEIGHTS — A man who reportedly resisted police when they tried to arrest him for violating a conditional bond is facing felony charges after he allegedly grappled with an officer, attempting to seize control of the officer’s Taser, only to be subdued once police backup arrived.

The suspect is 26-year-old Madison Heights resident Kevin Richards, who was arraigned by Magistrate Kimberly Wilson in Madison Heights 43rd District Court on May 22, charged with one count of disarming a police officer (non-firearm), a four-year felony, and one count of resisting and obstructing, a two-year felony.

At press time, the suspect was being held on a $105,000 cash bond or surety.

The arrest went down around 9:30 a.m. May 20 at Motel 6, 32700 Barrington. Richards’ wife, a 23-year-old Madison Heights resident, was the alleged victim.

Police received word from the wife’s mother that the suspect was allegedly holding his wife against her will.

It appears the suspect was violating a conditional bond, set forth by Madison Heights 43rd District Court, stipulating he stay away from his wife due to a previous alleged domestic assault against her.

On arriving at the location, the suspect opened the motel door to speak to the police, but he wouldn’t unchain the latch. Inside, police could allegedly hear the voice of a woman, her words incomprehensible.

Police said they made multiple requests for Richards to open the door, and ultimately threatened to kick in the door if he didn’t comply. The suspect is said to have then unlatched the door and admitted police into the room.

Once inside, the police said they were going to arrest him, at which point Richards is said to have assumed a “bladed stance,” turning sideways, ready to fight.

A struggle ensued when Richards reportedly refused to put his hands behind his back. An officer started grappling with Richards, the suspect allegedly trying to grab a hold of the officer’s Taser. Police used pepper spray, but in the process, the officer wrestling with Richards was also affected.

The fight reportedly continued until more officers showed up at the scene. The additional manpower was able to bring Richards down.

Afterwards, the officer’s Taser was found in its holster on the floor, having come off his belt during the scuffle. It is not clear how the Taser came off.

According to police, the wife allegedly told officers that her husband had picked her up and held against her will since May 7. She had allegedly called her mom for help. However, the prosecutor’s office has not issued a kidnapping charge.

Madison Heights Police Lt. Robert Anderson said the incident could’ve ended badly.

“If he (Richards) would’ve gained possession of the Taser, the officers would’ve been justified in using deadly force against him,” Anderson said. “We’re glad it ended how it did, fortunate for both the suspect and the officers.”

The Richards family contest the sequence of events, as alleged by police. In a written statement provided to the press, they claimed Richards’ wife was with him of her own free will. Richards allegedly indicated to her he intended to leave her. The police arrived while she was getting dressed after taking a shower, the family claimed. They said that when Richards was told he was under arrest for violating a conditional bond, he complied with their order but was knocked to the ground by one of the officers, who allegedly proceeded to punch and choke him. When the wife got out of the bathroom and saw what was happening, she reportedly screamed at the police not to hurt Richards.

The family claims the Michigan State Police and FBI are investigating their claims of police misconduct.

In response to the Richards family, Lt. Anderson said, at press time, the MHPD has not heard from the state police or the FBI.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1104.