An investigation into a domestic violence incident in downtown Redwood City on Aug. 18 led to the arrest of a pimp in Merced this past Friday.
On Aug. 18, Merced police stopped 28-year-od Devone Richardson in their city after receiving a hit on their Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) that he was wanted in connection with an investigation in Redwood City.
The investigation stemmed from a domestic violence call on Aug. 18 in downtown Redwood City, where the suspect fled the scene prior to officers arriving. The victim, a 26-year-old woman, initially denied what happened, and officers sensed her uneasiness and offered her temporary shelter at the First Chance facility, which she accepted, police said. That night, the victim told First Chance staff she’d been forced into prostitution and beaten by Richardson.
Redwood City Police Department Street Crime Suppression Team Detectives took over the investigation, along with a patrol sergeant and victim advocate who are experts in the human trafficking field.
The victim told investigators she had been working as a prostitute for Richardson for about a month, during which time he kept all of her money, cellphone, purse with her identification and denied her food and made her sleep in his car, police said.
“According to details provided in the interview, the victim indicated Richardson had a wide outreach of clients and made her work as a prostitute in different cities throughout the Bay Area,” police said. “He threatened to send nude pictures to the victim’s parents if she did not continue working for him. On the night she was contacted in Redwood City, Richardson beat her and stole all of her personal belongings.”
A warrant was issued with a bail amount of $500,000 for Richardson’s arrest, and he was discovered by Merced police Friday.
“Street Crime Suppression Team Detectives responded to Merced and took custody of Richardson and transported him to Redwood City,” police said.
He was booked into San Mateo County Jail for human trafficking, pimping, pandering, robbery, domestic violence, extortion and assault.
Meanwhile, Redwood City officers and detectives collaborated with San Mateo County Human Trafficking Program Coordinator John Vanek and Human Trafficking Advocate Pam Estes to get the victim further assistance for long term housing, as well as funding for food and incidentals.
“The collaborative efforts of different units within the Redwood City Police Department, First Chance and Palm Avenue facilities, the San Mateo County Human Trafficking Initiative and the Merced Police Department resulted in a successful resolution to this case,” police said.
Anyone with additional information or evidence regarding this particular case, please contact Det. Sergeant Nick Perna at NPerna@redwoodcity.org.
Persons with information about this case or any other case who wish to remain anonymous may leave messages at 1-800-222-TIPS, or send the information online at www.BayareaCrimestoppers.org.