SAFFORD – Around 10:45 pm on Sunday, an officer observed a pickup pulling out onto Highway 70 which had a bed light on, causing a white light showing to the rear. After the officer activated his emergency lights, the pickup continued driving without pulling over, even after passing several safe places, including several parking lots. The driver turned onto Gila Avenue from Highway 70, then made a right turn onto East Main Street. At the intersection of Highway 191 and Main Street, the vehicle made a right turn and finally pulled over in the parking lot of a nearby gas station.
The officer called for assistance with the traffic stop and then approached the pickup on the passenger side. The officer knocked on the window and asked to have the window rolled down but neither the driver nor passenger would comply. After the officer asked again to have the window rolled down or to open the door, the driver, who was later identified as Michael Richardson, opened the back window slightly and stated he did not do anything wrong. The officer informed Richardson why he had been pulled over. Richardson turned off the light and stated it was fixed and the officer didn’t need to talk to him anymore. The officer instructed Richardson to unlock the door, which he finally did.
Due to the suspicious behavior, the officer asked Richardson to step out of the vehicle as the officer walked around to the driver’s side. After informing Richardson he was being detained he was asked to turn around but Richardson said, “no”. Richardson was asked two more times to turn around but he refused. The officer attempted to place Richardson in handcuffs, but Richardson continued to resist, pulling away from the officer, and eventually was pulled to the ground. Richardson yelled at the officer and refused to comply to the officer’s commands. Other officers arrived and as one was assisting with handcuffing Richardson the passenger, identified as Yvette Rodriguez, got out of the truck and started yelling at the officers. After searching Richardson he was placed under arrest for failure to comply with a police officer and resisting arrest and was placed in the back of a patrol vehicle. After Rodriguez had been placed in the back of a patrol car, dispatch informed authorities she had a valid warrant for her arrest.
The vehicle was towed from the scene and Rodriguez and Richardson were transported to the jail. Rodriguez was booked for her warrant, however, the jail would not accept Richardson until he was medically cleared. Richardson was given his citation and his belongings and was released st the Sheriffs Office. Richardson declined any medical attention by an ambulance.