Ashley Nicole Richards has been a busy lady this year. Back on the Fourth of July, the 21-year-old southwest Houston resident was arrested in connection with a riot that erupted on the Brazos riverfront after Waco's annual fireworks display, and now she has been charged here with savagely torturing a dog and a cat in separate incidents spanning two years.
According to an affidavit filed yesterday in Harris County District Court, on April Fool's Day this year, Richards slashed a dog's throat with a knife and hacked its head and back leg with a meat cleaver.
According to a second complaint also filed yesterday, back in July of 2010, Richards is alleged to have stomped a cat. That same incident goes on to allege that Richards ground her shoe heel into the cat's eye-socket.
She faces two felony counts of cruelty to animals and is being held in lieu of $40,000 in bonds.
And then there is that Waco incident...
According to KWTX, a crowd of 400 people hurled rocks, bricks, chunks of concrete and high-powered fireworks at police. "The type of explosives being thrown were not your typical small firecrackers, but large aerial-type ordnance that explode with a very large flash and flame," said Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton.
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The downtown riverfront battle reportedly lasted 90 minutes and took both tear gas and an armored vehicle to disperse. (Post-fireworks street disturbances seem to be a Waco tradition. A similar rock- and firework-throwing fracas occurred at the same spot back in 2009. Before it was quelled with police tear-gas and smoke-bombs, a building was gutted by fire and several grass fires smoldered downtown on the east side of the city. "We were trying to have a good time over this way but the police came, the fire [happened] and everybody just cleared out and left," a local business owner told KXXV at the time.)
In this year's incident, a female officer was punched in the face and a second cop was hit in the neck with a rock and suffered minor injuries. Richards was arrested in connection with the cop-punching -- some accounts say that her arrest touched off the melee. Everybody else got away, at least in the immediate aftermath.
Richards, who is also known as "Babygirl," was charged with assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest and bonded out the next day. The disposition of that case is unknown at press time.