Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sex Offender Arrested

PARKERSBURG - A man who failed to register as a sex offender in Wood County was arrested Saturday in Gilmer County.

John Richards, 43, Grantsville, was apprehended by the Gilmer County Sheriff's Department after Sheriff Mickey Metz was making a routine traffic stop. Richards, a passenger in the vehicle, got out and fled and after a short pursuit into the woods, Richards was apprehended by Deputy Mark White, the department said.

Deputy Sgt. Larry Gerwig said Richards, who is being held at the Central Regional Jail in Flatwoods, after facing charges in Gilmer County will be transferred to Wood County to face charges. According to the West Virginia State Police sex offender registry, Richards is supposed to reside at 28 Kendell Ave. in Parkersburg. Richards is also registered to reside at 777A Pell St. in Grantsville.

Glenville Police Chief John Moss said Richards apparently fled Grantsville after an arrest warrant was issued in July. A spokesman for the West Virginia State Police said an arrest warrant will be issued for an offender if law enforcement is unable to make contact with the offender at his address after 10 days.

In addition to failing to register as a sex offender, Richards was also wanted on two counts of grand larceny and one count of breaking and entering, according to the sheriffás department. Those charges stem from Richards alleged involvement in a theft from Hardman Supply in Glenville several months ago. A criminal complaint accuses Richards and others allegedly involved in the break in of theft of a delivery truck, building material and tools valued at more than $33,000.The stolen truck was later recovered in Wood County.

Richards' status as a sex offender stems from a 1989 conviction of abduction and first-degree sexual abuse involving two adult females.

In 2000, Richards had another brush with the law, this time in Washington County. Richards was charged with a misdemeanor count of public indecency by the Marietta Police Department after he allegedly exposed himself at McHappy's Bake Shoppe on Pike Street.
In 2004, after two years of fighting extradition from West Virginia to Ohio, Richards was booked on two felony counts of abduction, a felony count of attempted abduction, a misdemeanor count of coercion and two misdemeanor counts of aggravated menacing in Washington County.

The charges against Richards stemmed from a June 25, 2002, incident at Evergreen Car Wash where Richards was alleged to sexually gratify himself in front of a woman and her daughter and making threatening comments about the daughter before opening the driver's side door of the car while brandishing a razor knife.In 2005, Richards was arrested in Calhoun County on charges relating to the manufacturing of methamphetamines.

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