FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – A man and woman were arrested Wednesday after holding police at bay for nearly 20 hours during a SWAT standoff in Ft. Bend County. It began after a man who was recently terminated from his job and facing eviction barricaded himself inside a home with a woman and child.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office responded to a call at Hudson Products around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday after Jack Richardson, 31, showed up at his former job. Employees were alarmed to see Richardson because he was terminated from the company on Nov. 30. He left the property, but a report was still made.
A caller informed deputies that Richardson was arrested at his job on Nov. 25. He had a charge out of Victoria County for tampering and fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, and during the arrest, deputies found a controlled substance in his possession, so an additional charge was added in Fort Bend County.
According to deputies, Richardson already faced felony charges of aggravated kidnapping, assault strangulation of a family member and criminal mischief, as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and criminal mischief. All of the cases were in Wharton County.
After responding to Hudson’s call on Tuesday, deputies went to the house Richardson was renting in the 9100 block of Grunwald Road and attempted to talk to him about the trespassing. Richardson lived about a block away from his former place of employment.
Deputies learned Richardson was facing eviction for not paying rent.
Richardson refused to talk with authorities, and barricaded himself inside his home with his girlfriend, Mary Beth Sandoval, and her 3-year-old son. The Fort Bend SWAT team were called to the scene around 12:15 p.m. Officers believed Richardson was armed.
"We're trying to reach out to family and others who know this individual to see if they can help this come to a peaceful resolution," Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said Tuesday. "We have set up a perimeter around the house. We have lighting around the house. We are doing everything we can to try and make contact with the individuals inside the house."
The SWAT team encircled the home and attempted to make contact with Richardson, but he would not answer his cellphone. However, they were able to talk to Sandoval.
Early Wednesday morning, the SWAT Team made forced entry into the residence and Richardson and Sandoval surrendered. No one was injured.
“This is the kind of incident that can end in tragedy, but we were fortunate with this outcome,” said Nehls. “I cannot say enough about the professionalism exhibited by the Fort Bend SWAT Team, our own deputies and other agencies involved in this incident. No one was injured, and that is the best result we could ask for in this situation.”
Sandoval, 32, faces a charge of child endangerment for remaining inside the home when she had the option to leave. Her son was taken to OakBend Medical Center in Richmond for a checkup and will be turned over the Child Protective Services.
Richardson and Sandoval are in the Fort Bend County Jail.