Wakulla County, FL - A 51-year-old Carrabelle man was charged with aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony Jan. 15 in connection with an attempt to strike a Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office deputy with his van, according to Sheriff David Harvey.
Albert Dykes Rickards was taken into custody by Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office detectives on Jan. 15, four days after the original incident. He was taken to the Wakulla County Jail where he remains with no bond.
Deputy Rachel Oliver was conducting a late night business check at a Crawfordville restaurant when she took evasive action to avoid the suspect who nearly hit her as she was attempting to leave the business. The suspect shouted angrily at the deputy and spun his vehicle through the parking lot of the fast food restaurant and neighboring convenience store.
Deputy Oliver turned on her emergency lights and attempted to check on the driver who put the van in reverse and nearly struck the deputy’s patrol unit a second time. He spun this vehicle around a third time and narrowly avoided hitting the deputy again.
The driver sped away northbound on U.S. Highway 319 before being stopped by Deputy Oliver. At that time, Rickards was charged with obstruction without violence, fleeing and eluding and reckless driving and his van was impounded.
Rickards was taken to the Wakulla County Jail Jan. 11 and posted bond on Jan. 13. As detectives continued their investigation, it was determined that Rickards was aggressive toward both Deputy Oliver, whose life was threatened both at the fast food restaurant and during the traffic stop, and jail staff who booked him. Detectives added the aggravated assault charge.
Evidence collected from the suspect vehicle noted that Rickards had been keeping a log profiling law enforcement officers and vehicle tag numbers. On Jan. 15, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office officials detained Rickards in Carrabelle and Wakulla Det. Rob Giddens transported him back to jail. Det. Melissa Harris investigated.