LOS ANGELES — The parents of a 24 year old woman missing since Thursday said Saturday that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies released her from the Agoura Hills sheriff’s station while she was drunk in the middle of the night.
According to the parents, witnesses said Mitrice Richardson was drunk an unable to pay her bill at a Geoffrey’s in Malibu at about 10 p.m. Thursday. Richardson was taken into custody by deputies from the Malibu Lost Hills sheriff’s station.
Deputies took Richardson through the canyon to the nearest sheriff’s station, where they filed charges against her for not paying for the meal and took a booking photo. Richardson was released about midnight Friday, according to her parents.
Richardson’s mother, Latice Sutton, said she called the Malibu-Lost Hills station about that time to ask about posting bail picking up her daughter, but deputies told her she had been released because they didn’t have the capacity to keep her.
Sutton also said her daughter was described as in “no condition to drive” by a manager she spoke to at Geoffrey’s, on Pacific Coast Highway. He also told the parents that deputies found marijuana in Richardson’s purse.
Richardson hasn’t contacted her family or been seen by them since Wednesday.
Richardson’s father, Michael Richardson, said deputies gave him his daughter’s booking photo, and her appearance made him very worried about her mental state.
Sutton said deputies told her nearby residents had called in to say a woman was sleeping on porches, indicating to her that Richardson was stumbling around a nearby residential neighborhood in the early-morning hours Friday.
Sheriff’s deputies at Malibu-Lost Hills, the sheriff’s headquarters bureau, and sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore all said they were not familiar with the charges and were unable to comment.
Richardson is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and recently moved to Los Angeles to live with her grandmother near the area where she planned on teaching.
Richardson is black, 5 feet-5 inches tall, and weighs about 135 pounds. She has brown, curly hair and hazel eyes, and was last seen wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans, police said. According to a flyer made by the family, Richardson has tattoos on her lower abdomen and behind her neck.
Police asked anyone with information on her whereabouts to call Det. Kristin Merrill at the LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit at (213) 485-5381, or 1-877-LAPD-24-7 after business hours or on weekends.
I have been hearing about this story all weekend and it really bothers me for several reasons.
One, I just can’t believe that the Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies just let her go, drunk, in the middle of the night. I mean what the fuck is up with that? Since when do the police just let you go off into the night drunk. Look–I watch COPS–yes I watch COPS, JAIL too, and have seen how they put people in these drunk tanks until they sober up. Simply put, I am not buying it. Then, I am listening to KFI 640 and there’s a news report about how the dad thinks his daughter may have been “drugged by one of her girlfriends who likes to drug her girlfriends,” his words, not mine. WTF is that all about? And then lastly, because it must be said, the woman is Black, and I am wondering if race played a role at all in any of this. I really question race after reading some of the comments left by Los Angeles Times readers rarding this story.
I spoke with a friend who said under any other circumstances we’d be happy, meaning we as Black people, if the police let us go after not paying our bill at a restaurant, finding weed in our purse, and being intoxicated in public. It made stop for a minute and I guess he’s right in a way. But I think that all changes when the police let you go and you just disappear. You might have been better off in a drunk tank or jail than alone in the middle of night fucked up.
I know one thing, the sheriff’s better have the paperwork to back up that charge of being over capacity and having to let Richardson go.
From one sista to another, I hope you’re just embarassed and chillin’ somewhere and haven’t suffered a fate much worse.