LITTLE ROCK, AR (KTHV) - Little Rock Police arrested City Director Ken Richardson just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday on charges of Driving While Intoxicated.
A Little Rock Police Officer was patrolling on South University Avenue when he observed a vehicle traveling northbound at a high rate of speed.
The officer sped up to 65 MPH in order to catch up with the vehicle. The driver changed lanes several times without signaling and was swerving. As the officer activated his blue lights, the driver then turned into a parking lot in the 3900 block of South University without signaling and nearly hitting a curb. The vehicle then ran into a shrub before coming to a stop.
As the officer approached the vehicle, he noticed the reverse lights come on and ordered the driver to stop the vehicle. The officer then approached the vehicle and heard the driver say, "I am a city director." The officer then recognized the driver as Ken Richardson. According to police, Richardson's speech was in a low tone and slurred, his eyes were glassy and bloodshot and he had a sleepy appearance. The patrolman assisted Richardson out of the vehicle, placed him in handcuffs and put him in the back of his patrol car.
The officer then requested for a supervisor to respond, and Richardson was given a sobriety test. Richardson could not keep his balance and almost fell twice. Richardson was also given the portable breath test which resulted in a .174. Richardson was the placed back into the patrol car and was transported to the Pulaski County Regional Jail for a breathalyzer test which resulted in a .187. Mr. Richardson was then cited for Driving While Intoxicated, Driving with a Suspended License, and Careless/Prohibited Driving. He was given an appearance agreement and released to his mother.
Ken Richardson is the City Director for Ward 2. He was first elected to the City Board of Directors in November 2006 and took his oath of office on January 1, 2007 and is currently serving his third term.
Richardson apologized on Monday for what he calls a mistake, and some members of the community are standing in his corner.
"We're behind him and we just want him to know that we love him and we're just standing up for him," said Reverend Benny Johnson of Arkansas Stop the Violence. "He's done a lot for this city, he's helped on the black-on-black crime issue. We are 1,000% behind him because we know of his character, we know his leadership, he is a vital part of this community, he's very important to the inner city."
On Monday, Richardson sent a letter to the mayor and his fellow board members apologizing for driving with alcohol in his system and with a suspended license. According to court records, Richardson pleaded guilty to another D.W.I. charge in 1991 and has multiple prior violations for driving without a license. Neither the city nor Little Rock Police would grant THV 11 an interview for this story, and said they could not share with us video of the arrest or audio recordings.
Multiple phone calls and visits to Richardson's house got no response Monday. According to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department Richardson was never booked into the jail after his arrest Saturday and was cited and released to his mother instead. City police say that is standard procedure for DWI arrests.
Reverand Johnson, meanwhile, says he will continue to support Richardson.
"He's just an outstanding young man," added Johnson. "You can't say enough good things about him and the people in the community love him, they showed that when they reelected him as a city director."