More developments in the death investigation of Mitrice Richardson, the now-25-year-old lesbian Los Angeles woman who disappeared ten months ago and whose skeletal remains were discovered last week. In September 2009, the former beauty queen was arrested for not paying her $89 tab at a Malibu-area restaurant and vanished after she was released from a Malibu sheriff's station without car, purse or car.
The restaurant owner claims his side of the story is not being told, reports the Malibu Times.
Richardson was dining alone on Sept. 16 in Malibu at Geoffrey's Restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway. Restaurant management contacted Lost Hills after she could not pay her $89 bill and she exhibited signs of acting strange, restaurant owner Jeff Peterson said. Sheriff's deputies who arrived on the scene conducted field sobriety test but found that she was sober. It has since been revealed that Richardson suffered from bipolar disorder, and at the time might have been exhibiting signs of this illness. Peterson signed a citizen's arrest form, and Richardson was taken into custody for possession of marijuana in her car and defrauding an innkeeper.
The independent review stated, “Once Ms. Richardson, a misdemeanor arrestee, cleared a check of criminal history and station personnel determined that she was not a present danger to herself or others, or gravely disabled, Malibu/Lost Hills Station personnel could no longer legally detain her involuntarily.” During [last week's] press conference, [Sheriff Lee] Baca said the "soul searching" will involve determining whether it is appropriate to have somebody arrested under the circumstances of Richardson's arrest. Peterson said he was bothered Baca did not tell the full story. "He left out the whole part of why we did it [call deputies], and that was because of her state of mind,” Peterson said. "If we wouldn't have arrested her, she would have gotten in her car and gotten away. Who knows what could have happened. Our issue was to get her to safety."
Peterson confirms Richardson's grandmother offered to pay the bill by credit card over the phone, but he refused for liability issues. The restaurant owner adds that he can "only think of one occasion in the past four years" when an arrest was made under similar circumstances.
In related news: Tonight there is a reception and candlelight vigil in honor of Mitrice. Richardson's father is demanding an independent investigation into her death. There are questions about the Sheriff's Department's audio recordings. Rev. Al Sharpton has sent a formal request to Attorney General Eric Holder "to ask for an official inquiry in the death of Mitrice Richardson." Much more at Jasmyne Cannick ...
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