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ACO Call Leads to Firearm Arrest

On October 22, 2015, at 1:10pm, a Hartford Police Department Animal Control Officer (ACO) went to 19 Florence Street to investigate an unlawful animal transaction complaint. The ACO arrived with the complainants and she observed two males in the backyard of the residence. One of the males, Raheem Richardson, was identified as the suspect who had illegally sold the dogs to the complainants. The ACO and the complainants were then invited into the house by Richardson to discuss the matter. Once inside the house the ACO observed what she believed to be a rifle against the wall and a handgun laying in a child's seat that was in the living room. The ACO asked Richardson if the guns were "real". Richardson began acting very nervous and frantically grabbed the rifle (A Ruger BB gun) to demonstrate it was not a real firearm. Richardson then grabbed the handgun and ran up the stairs in the house. Now Fearing that Richardson may now be concealing a real handgun, the ACO radioed for police assistance/backup as she yelled for Richardson to come back downstairs. NOTE: HPD ACO's are unarmed- HPD Officers are aware of this and respond to these requests for assistance with urgency.

Assisting Officers quickly arrived and were able to detained Richardson without incident in an upstairs bedroom. Richardson's infant son was also in the bedroom (unharmed). A Walther .380 Caliber pistol containing four live rounds was located directly under the open window below the room in which Richardson was detained (Investigation showed the firearm had been reported stolen out of Chicago Il in 1988).

It was learned through the course of the investigation that the second person, who was initially in the yard with Richardson when the ACO arrived, had an active arrest warrant for Assault in the First Degree with the East Hartford Police Department. However, he had just left the scene. A description of the suspect was broadcast. HPD Traffic Division Officers located the 2nd suspect. (The Traffic Division as well as many other officers responded to the area to back up the ACO) Cleveland Byfield Jr was taken into custody by the Traffic Div Officers nearby on Fairmount Street (he was transported to EHPD).

Raheem Richardson was debriefed by Shooting Task Force Detectives and admitted to throwing the Walther .380 Pistol out of the second floor bedroom during the incident. Richardson has a previous SJO and a domestic violence conviction that disqualify him from possessing a Firearm.

Raheem Richardson was charged with the following: Failure to License a Dog, Failure to Vaccinate, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Theft of a Firearm, Unlawful Storage, and Risk of injury to a Minor.

The infant was left with mother, DCF Notified.

1) Arrested: Raheem Richardson, 23, of Hartford CT.
Charges: Failure to License a Dog, Failure to Vaccinate, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Theft of a Firearm, Unlawful Storage, and Risk of injury to a Minor

Evidence: Walther Arms P1 KAL .380 Semi-automatic containing four live ammunition rounds (Stolen).

2) Arrested: Cleveland Byfield Jr., 22, of East Hartford CT
Charges: Assault in the First Degree (East Hartford Police Arrest Warrant)

Florence Street

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Hartford Police Department
Public Safety Complex
253 High Street
Hartford CT, 06103

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