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Man arrested at GRACE Marketplace after reportedly hitting staff members

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Altonio Lee Richardson, 40, was arrested early this morning at GRACE Marketplace after police and staff gave him multiple chances to stay on a cold night.

Richardson was asked to leave the property multiple times before a staff member called 911 just after midnight, asking police to remove him. A Gainesville Police Department officer called the staff member, and the two of them agreed that because it was 32 degrees outside, they would allow Richardson to stay. The staff member said he would call back if things escalated.

At about 12:35 a.m., the staff member called back to say Richardson was escalating but was not violent. At about 2:30 a.m., the staff member called again to say Richardson had become violent and was hitting staff members.

The officer arrived and asked Richardson to leave the property, but Richardson reportedly refused. The officer again told him to leave and offered to help push his wheelchair, but Richardson reportedly refused again. The officer then began pushing the wheelchair off the property, but Richardson reportedly put the brakes on. He also allegedly resisted being handcuffed by pulling his hands underneath his body and ignoring commands to stop resisting. The officer reported that he was eventually detained without use of force.

The officer noted that Richardson had an active warrant for failure to appear on charges of possession of drug equipment and resisting arrest from July. He was also arrested in April for attacking a woman in her tent with a cane near GRACE Marketplace, but those charges were dropped. He has 16 felony convictions and 32 misdemeanor convictions and has served five state prison sentences, with his most recent release in June 2021.

Richardson has been charged with trespassing after warning and resisting arrest without violence. Bail information is unavailable on weekends.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Grace Marketplace is quickly becoming a Disgraced Marketplace. Bring us some more criminals, illegals, and drug addicts.

  • Some people just don’t know how to act in society. After all the chances, mental health programs, etc. some people can’t take the hint.

  • Despite what we may think about the Grace clientele, thank goodness for the volunteers and employees who work there.

  • Shut Grace down…it’s an attractive nuisance to our community. Send the vagrants back to where they came from…we’ll be safer and save taxpayer money. Let’s double the size of the jail to hold more and for longer.

  • Officer should have noticed the capias (arrest warrant) in the computer system on his first encounter with disagreeable, ungrateful and violent Mr. Richardson and arrested him immensely, would have saved staff member from subsequently getting hit, lucky much worse didn’t happen. And btw what the HECK is the responding officer doing negotiating an extended stay for disruptive Richardson “because it’s 32 degrees outside”?? Smh…

  • Jimmy, you said exactly what I was thinking: what in world is law enforcement doing, trying to encourage Grace to allow the lawless behavior a little longer BECAUSE IT IS COLD OUTSIDE!! That is the biggest bunch of b.s. I have ever heard. Go talk to the cops in a city that actually gets cold, like Minneapolis. They aren’t giving criminals a break because of the effing cold. Good Grief! That officer should be place on administrative leave, if you as me….

  • Get some cattle prods or big stun guns for the GRACE workers. At the very least, they should have two private security officers on duty at all times instead of constantly imposing on GPD and the taxpayers who might need the police. I’m picturing a grossly deformed Statue of Liberty looking like Poe…. “Give me your vagrants, your drunks and drug addicts, your chronically lazy, your pedophiles, your schizophrenics, your violent psychos….”

  • “He has 16 felony convictions and 32 misdemeanor convictions and has served five state prison sentences, with his most recent release in June 2021.”

    Shut down Grace Marketplace. It is just a magnet for criminals. Let them go to New York or California.

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