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Judge finds probable cause against defendant in domestic violence case

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SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan on Tuesday found probable cause to charge Florencio Quitugua Richards with assault and battery, tampering with vehicle (criminal mischief), and disturbing the peace.

But the judge did not find probable cause as to the charge of vandalism.

Richards, 42, is accused of punching his girlfriend multiple times and using a piece of metal to hit one of the tires of her vehicle.

Judge Bogdan previously imposed a $20,000 cash bail on Richards who was remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections after the hearing on Tuesday, and ordered to return to court for arraignment on Oct. 20, at 9 a.m.

At the preliminary hearing, Richards was represented by Chief Public Defender Douglas Hartig while Assistant Attorney General Steve Kessel appeared for the government.

According to police, on the early morning of Oct. 5, 2020, Richards and his girlfriend arrived at her apartment arguing after coming from a bar.

The girlfriend told police that she told Richards to leave her alone and she locked the door of the apartment, but Richards kept knocking on the door.

She said when she told Richards to go to his mother’s house, he started kicking the door. On the third time, he broke the door, she added.

She said she tried to hold the door, but Richards pushed it so hard that she stumbled and fell on the couch.

She told police that Richards then punched her on the forehead, and kept punching her about 10 times. She said she put up her two hands  to block his punches.

She said Richards then punched her hands.

Her two teenage sons eventually pushed Richards out of the apartment, the victim said.

Witnesses told police that Richards  then used a piece of metal to hit one of the tires of her car.

Richards was previously convicted by the federal court for distributing methamphetamine or “ice” while employed as a police officer. In 2011, he was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.

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