Search for Riverwalk assault suspect continues on land, water

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, May 10, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Deputies aren't the only ones hunting for Kevin Richardson, one of the suspects in the brutal Riverwalk assault. Crime Stoppers of Augusta has been getting tips from the community all week.

They're using some unusual tactics to search for the suspect, taking to patrols of their own by land and by water.

News 12 went along for the search Friday with Mike Griffin, the Crime Stoppers director. He's been getting tips and calls for the past week about the Riverwalk assault suspects, and a lot of those tips have led him back to the river.

One person called in a tip while we were on the river. They said they thought they saw Richardson down by the marina, so Griffin called the tip into deputies. Minutes after he called in the tip, investigators and patrol cars swarmed the area.

There hasn't been an arrest yet, but the next called-in tip just could be the one, which is why Griffin and his Crime Stopper team do what they do.

"Fleeing and evading armed and dangerous, vicious, mean and nasty criminals. That's what we go after is the meanest, toughest people in the area," Griffin said.

And after a recent fight caught on camera downtown ended in gunshots, along with a vicious attack along the Riverwalk, Griffin and his team are concerned for the downtown community.

"Downtown merchants will feel the pinch from this for we don't know how long," Griffin said.

Which is why they've started patrols of their own to put extra eyes on the area. They've got an SUV and a pontoon boat to help them in their endeavors.

"We don't want people to walk out here and be afraid to walk day or night, wherever they want to go in this town," said Rick Valintine, a volunteer for Crime Stoppers.

"We're going to be patrolling this area because from the river we can see the whole Riverwalk," Griffin said.

The group plans to continue the patrols along the river any time there is a big event downtown that could draw people to the Riverfront just to have more eyes on the area. They also have infrared cameras they are placing in different locations along the river, just to be a more permanent set of eyes.

The Crime Stoppers team says they are always looking for more members to help keep the community safe, and they always welcome anonymous tips.

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