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Man arrested for attacking homeless woman in her tent with metal cane

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Altonio Lee Richardson, 39, was arrested yesterday morning after allegedly attacking the tent of a homeless woman with a metal cane while she was inside, hitting her on the head and damaging the tent.

The victim lives in a tent outside GRACE Marketplace, and Richardson reportedly became upset when she would not let him into her tent. He then allegedly picked up a metal cane and started hitting the outside of the tent with the cane, damaging three of the tent poles beyond repair.

While Richardson was allegedly striking the tent, the victim was hit on the head, and the tent fell down on her. The tent belonged to a second victim, who lives in the tent next to the damaged tent, and the damage was estimated at $50.

The first victim said that although she was hit on the head, she was not injured because she was wearing a knit cap and a hoodie. Multiple witnesses said they saw Richardson hitting the tent and heard the victim yell that she was hit. However, one witness said Richardson was using a hammer.

Post Miranda, Richardson reportedly said he had not hit or damaged the tent and that “they were all lying.” Richardson has been charged with criminal mischief and simple battery with other weapon and is being held on $15,000 bail. He has 16 felony convictions and 34 misdemeanor convictions and was most recently released from prison in June 2021 after serving a five-year sentence on a charge of resisting arrest with violence out of Columbia County. He will be prohibited from returning to GRACE Marketplace upon release.

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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. 

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