Sunday, January 11, 2015

City director arrested on a DWI charge

Posted By on Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 9:21 AM

click to enlarge KENNETH RICHARDSON: City director arrested.
  • KENNETH RICHARDSON: City director arrested.
City Director Kenneth Richardson was arrested by Little Rock police about 9:30 p.m. Saturday for driving while intoxicated on University Avenue. 

He was charged with DWI, driving with a suspended license and careless/prohibited driving

Patrol officer Zachary Hardman's report said he began attempting to stop Richardson, 48, in the 4100 block of South University. He said he had to drive 65 mph to stop the northbound vehicle he was following. It changed lanes without signaling and was swerving, he said. It swerved further in making a turn into a Wendy's parking lot in the 3900 block of University and ran into a shrub before stopping.

Hardman said he first walked to the car with a gun drawn because he saw backup lights flash and didn't know if the driver was preparing to flee. The car stopped. When he ordered the driver to to show his hands, he put his hands out the window.

Hardman holstered his weapon and when he opened the car door, the driver said, "I am a city director." Hardman  said he then recognized Richardson, who spoke "in a low tone and slurred. His eyes were glassy, bloodshot and he had a sleepy appearance." He assisted Richardson out of the car, handcuffed him and placed him in a patrol car, then called for a supervisor. Sgt. Jimmy Christ arrived and performed a gaze test and a balance test. Richardson almost fell twice during the balance test and further field sobriety tests were stopped for "Mr. Richardson's safety," the report said. A field breath alcohol test gave a .174 reading. A test at the Pulaski County jail gave a .187 reading. He was ticketed and released to his mother on his own recognizance. The 2002 Honda Accord car he was driving, listed as being owned by Carlton McClinton, was impounded.

I'm attempting to reach him for a comment.

Lt. Sidney Allen said the department distributed the report voluntarily, without a media request. He also said in response to other questions that the office does provide recognizance release to other DWI suspects and that he was unable to supply information on the reason for Richardson's license suspension.

Richardson, director of program services for New Futures for Youth, was re-elected to a third term on the Board in a contested race in November. His career has included tension with Little Rock police, including an episode in which he said he was treated rudely by a cop who questioned him for wearing a shirt with an LRPD logo. 

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