Kearney man who threatened himself and officers with a knife was found unfit to stand trial | 1340 KGFW

Rusty Richards (Buffalo County Jail, courtesy)

KEARNEY — A Kearney man facing charges after threatening to harm himself and police officers with a knife has been found not competent to stand trial.

Rusty Richards, 34, had been charged with three counts of attempted Class 3 felony, a Class 4 felony; two counts of possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, a Class 3 felony; terroristic threats, a Class 3A felony; use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, a Class 2 felony; and resisting arrest, second offense, a Class 3A felony.

Richards was evaluated on June 13 and the report indicated he is not competent to stand trial.

The Buffalo County District Court ordered Richards transferred from the Buffalo County Jail and sent to Lincoln Regional Center for treatment.

A status hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, July 18 at 9 a.m.

According to court documents, on March 14, Kearney Police Department officers were dispatched to Countryside Trailer Park, Lot H to conduct a welfare check on Richards, who was reportedly breaking items inside a trailer and had possibly taken a handful of prescription pills.

When officers made contact with Richards, they reported that he was “very aggressive” and slammed the door in their faces. They reported hearing him breaking more items inside the trailer.

Richards exited the trailer again and officers reported that he said he had taken the pills and that if officers entered the trailer he would fight and officers would have to shoot him.

Richards then got into a vehicle that sped away from his residence, driving through several backyards in the area.

Police said the man then pulled into the trailer park and drove toward officers at a high rate of speed, “to the point where we felt he was going to ram the marked patrol cars.” Officers had to move out of the way to avoid being hit by Richards as he drove.

The vehicle was located a short time later outside another trailer on Courtside. Richards was found armed with a knife and holding it to his throat. He also had a baseball bat in his possession.

Lengthy attempts were made to calm the situation, both by responding officers and later by police negotiators.

Richards then slashed his throat and neck and continued to enter and exit the trailer, where his mother was known to be inside at the time.

“He was very volatile, belligerent, aggressive and his intentions were unknown, however, he had made it clear that he would commit suicide by police,” court documents state, “he made multiple attempts to harm himself and then threatened to harm and kill the officers, and towards the end he acted as if he was going to throw the knife at the officers.”

Richards was given multiple orders to comply and was given ample time to do so as the incident unfolded over the course of three hours.
“This was a very dynamic incident and created a substantial danger to the public as well as the responding officers,” court documents state.

Richard was eventually taken into custody by members of the Emergency Services Unit. After being medically cleared at CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital, he was booked into the Buffalo County Jail.