Man allegedly tried to claim home by throwing out relative
A homeless man has been charged with felony battery after he attempted to claim a home July 29 in Mammoth Spring that belonged to another man, according to authorities.
According to the Fulton County Sheriff's Department, 48-year-old Richard D. Mask attacked Johnny W. Richey inside Richey's Mammoth Spring home.
Deputy Terry Walker of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department said Mask entered Richey's home and started to argue with him. Walker said the argument escalated and Mask hit Richey in the head and face multiple times.
"They (Mask, Richey) are related, maybe brother-in-law, but I'm not sure," Walker said. "Mr. Mask thought the house was his and he assaulted Mr. Richey."
According to the arrest affidavit Mask broke Richey's clavicle bone and caused other facial injuries.
Chief deputy Paul Martin said Mask has a history of psychological problems.
Martin said besides being homeless, Mask has no immediate family in the area and needs to take medication to keep his psychosis under control.
"He's OK when he's on his medication," Martin said. "But when he's not on it he gets crazy."
Walker said officers apprehended Mask at Richey's house without incident. He said Mask's behavior changed after they arrived at the Fulton County jail.
"He got confrontational after we got to the jail," Walker said. "He was cuffed so most of it was verbal, but it was still pretty bad."
Mask has a lengthy criminal record.
In 2001 Mask was convicted of battery in the second degree, and terroristic threatening in the first degree, both class D felonies, after he attacked deputy James Humphries of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.
Salem Mayor Gary Clayton said Mask was on still on parole in connection with the 2001 conviction when he was charged in this latest incident.
Clayton, who also serves as Mask's parole officer, said Mask is taking medication and is behaving better in jail.
Mask is slated to appear in Fulton County Circuit Court Aug. 17. A parole revocation hearing for Mask could also be heard this week, Clayton said.