Columbia Hts: Residents, Police Force System to Detain Suspect

by November 29, 2008 at 10:14 am 1,282 0

If you have been following the story of the Columbia Heights teenager suspected of being a serial robber–but turned loose twice by the court system following his arrest–this WaPo story will make you feel a bit better:

A teenager being sought by D.C. police in a string of robberies in the Columbia Heights area turned himself in yesterday, ending a two-day search in a case that generated a police-led e-mail campaign and much community attention. Police said they have charged Michael Richardson, who recently turned 18, as an adult in a robbery on the grounds of Cardozo High School. A similar charge was filed last week, but the case was dropped by prosecutors, who said evidence was lacking. Richardson was released after that charge was dropped, in what D.C. officials called a mix-up. More: Read entire WaPo story.

This case is a good example of the power of citizens working with police to bring attention to a public safety problem. D.C. Police Inspector Edward Delgado, commander of the Third District Substation in Columbia Heights, played an important role in Richardson’s arrest and detainment. Through an email campaign, Delgado asked residents to contact the D.C. attorney general’s office and D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, demanding that Richardson be re-arrested and detained. The result was a floof emails by residents to authorities.

Richardson was then arrested on Friday, November 21–but released because of a paperwork glitch. Police believe he may have committed two more crimes between November 21 and 26 when he was arrested once again.

You have to wonder: How often do papework glitches in the court system result in suspects being released back into Bordersan?


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