Eight Henrico officers roughed up in two separate incidents

Richard Head
Richard Head

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Police say eight Henrico officers got roughed up by two suspects in separate incidents that happened only minutes apart this July 4th weekend.

Police arrested Richard Head and charged him with assaulting police officers Sunday, but they're looking for the second one. Brandon Ruffin is wanted for a drug charge and police say what happened to four officers at Essex Village Apartments just moments before he got away.

On this hot July day, the only crime spoken of was the swiping of a child's bicycle. But Henrico police aren't looking for someone with sticky fingers, rather a man who police say bum rushed four officers causing injuries.

"We'd like to get a hold of this guy before he gets into a little bit more trouble," said Henrico Lt. Steven Sparagna.

Police say the officers were walking their beat in the Essex Village community just after 11 p.m. Sunday when they came across a man identified as Brandon Ruffin with some marijuana.

Police say when Ruffin tried to run he broke an officer's nose with a head butt during a scuffle.  Then that's when the officers pulled out a taser. But in this case it didn't work.

"One of the barbs didn't stick, so the taser wasn't effective enough, so he was able to get away," said Lt. Sparagna.

About fifteen minutes earlier in the West End, police arrested Richard Head and charged him with assaulting another four officers. When they tried to handcuff Head, police say he too got into a scuffle with three cops and later spat on a fourth at the hospital.

Police described the ordeal as being out of control, but Lt. Steven Sparagna says that's what the officers' training is for.

"We're taught certain things-  pressure points in the body, certain ways to hold the arms and hands, and stuff like that, and of course hand cuffed him," said Lt. Sparagna.

Police say an on-looker stole an officer's flashlight during the Essex Village scuffle involving Brandon Ruffin. If you have information about his whereabouts, call Henrico police or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. You don't have to leave your name. 

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