Police: Suspect wasn't armed in takeover of Amish buggy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

JAMESPORT, Mo. (AP) -- The robbery suspect accused of forcing an Amish man to use a horse and buggy to take him to a trailer home in Jamesport did not commit the crime at gunpoint, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Officers from five agencies arrived at a Jamesport trailer on Tuesday after receiving a report of a stolen Amish buggy.

Draper Scott Richardson, 26, of Breckenridge, was arrested after a nearly four-hour standoff and is being held on $1 million bond. Authorities allege that he commandeered the buggy days after an armed robbery at a Chillicothe gas station Saturday.

Officers originally believed Richardson had taken the buggy at gunpoint, but the Amish couple said no gun was ever revealed, Patrol Sgt. Sheldon Lyon said. No gun was found when Richardson was arrested, either.

Richardson has been charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of first-degree robbery.

David Michael Searcy, 22, of Chillicothe, was arrested on the same charges Saturday after a car chase in which two patrol cars were hit with bullets, the patrol said.

A third suspect, Melanie Susan Blankenship, 18, was arrested on Wednesday for her alleged participation in the armed robbery. She is charged with unlawful use of a weapon, armed criminal action, first-degree assault and two counts of armed robbery.

Information from: St. Joseph News-Press, http://www.stjoenews-press.com

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