Police Chief Suspended Without Pay
Paden City Police Chief Joseph Richardson was suspended with pay Thursday pending the outcome of a domestic battery investigation.
Paden City Council held a special meeting Thursday to discuss the fate of Richardson, who was arrested for allegedly attacking a woman multiple times and slamming her against a wall. Richardson, 33, was arrested just after midnight Monday by State Police officers responding to a domestic disturbance at his residence in Friendly. He is charged with domestic battery and unlawful restraint. He posted $10,000 bond Tuesday.
Mayor John Hopkins said he verbally notified Richardson on Monday that he was suspended from his job pending a State Police investigation. Richardson is employed full-time at $18 an hour, according to city hall.
After meeting in executive session for about 15 minutes Thursday, council unanimously approved a motion to suspend Richardson with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
Council approved naming Sgt. Tim Shreve, who has served on the city police force about three years, as the interim police chief. They also approved plans to advertise a job vacancy for a police officer. Hopkins said of the city’s four police officers, three remain on staff. He said two Wetzel County sheriff’s deputies would also be assisting the police department as needed.
Hopkins said State Police have not released anything to city leaders regarding the report being prepared about allegations involving Richardson.
According to the criminal complaint, State Police arrived to find the house unoccupied, though blood was located on the porch and door. Shortly after, Richardson was pulled over by officers Monday in Davenport, near Sistersville. Richardson was taken into custody at that time.
The victim, located in the vehicle where Richardson was stopped, told police Richardson had allegedly become violent after an argument at about 11:30 p.m., tackling her to the ground multiple times, slamming her against the bedroom wall and damaging several objects around the home. He allegedly then forced her into the vehicle, where he prevented her escape by driving at a high rate of speed.
The victim said she was overpowered several times while attempting to escape, during which she sustained facial wounds including a cut lip and broken tooth.
The victim’s ex-boyfriend told officers at the scene that he had been contacted by the victim, who was screaming for help, and that Richardson had allegedly been aggressive. A further investigation of the residence found additional blood throughout the home, as well as a large hole in the bedroom wall. Scattered debris indicated a physical altercation.