COPY- Lufkin man arrested for allegedly scratching ex's car 10 years ago

Lufkin police arrested Ralph Richards, Jr. for a 10-year-old warrant that consisted of scratching his wife's car in 2000.

Last night, a complainant reported to Lufkin Police Department that he had a verbal altercation with Richards outside of a residence located on Wildbriar Drive in Lufkin. The complainant did not wish to pursue criminal charges related to the incident; he was seeking assistance in recovering property from the incident location, according to the police report.

The complainant stated that during the incident, he lost his eyeglasses and he did not want to return to the residence to retrieve them, as he believed doing so would result in another altercation.  A Lufkin police officer responded to the residence to speak with Richards and attempt to locate the complainant's property, according to the police report.

The officer then learned of the outstanding warrant for Richards'  arrest and booked him into Angelina County Jail.

Richards' Feb 12, 2001 arrest  for a felony Criminal Mischief warrant follows an investigation into a December 25, 2000 incident where he scratched the paint of his ex-wife's vehicle, causing approximately $2,500 damage, according to the report.

Police did not find any indication that he actively eluded arrest since the warrant was issued.

Justice of the Peace Billy Ball said Richards was released on Monday because he could not locate any kind of written complaint or other paperwork on Richards.

Police spokesman J.B. Smith said the statute of limitations could have expired on Richards, if he was not indicted within three years of the offense.

"Law enforcement must treat a warrant as what it is, an order from a court directing an officer to take custody of a person and deliver them to the court," Smith said.

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