A Williamsport man faces charges after allegedly beating a witness whose testimony helped put a convicted drug dealer behind bars.
Raymond "Rafiet" Richards, 41, of 800 Park Ave., has been charged with retaliation against a witness, two counts of simple assault and one count of criminal mischief after allegedly assaulting Lyle Dunn, a key witness in the case against Reyes "Rico" Belle, who was convicted of 11 felony drug charges on April 27.
On March 21, Dunn was parked at the intersection of Park Avenue and Herdic Street when Richards allegedly approached Dunn's vehicle and began kicking it. He then allegedly began punching Dunn's face through the open driver's side front window, while yelling "Rico was my friend and you screwed him over," according to city police and court records.
Following the assault, Dunn drove to the Lycoming County Drug Task Force headquarters where officers examined a large dent in his vehicle and injuries to his face and found his upper right dentures laying bloodied and broken on the front passenger seat, according to court records.
Dunn, who allegedly told task force members that he was in fear for his life, only could identify his aggressor based on his street nickname, "Rafiet," according to the affidavit.
Dunn declined medical treatment and fled Williamsport "to avoid further retaliation," according to city police.
On April 19, in the course of another investigation, detectives from the task force connected the nickname "Rafiet" to Raymond Richards, according to court records.
On April 24 and 25, Dunn testified on behalf of the prosecution against Belle. Following the trial, Belle was found guilty of multiple felony drug charges, including delivering cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Belle, who is incarcerated, awaits sentencing.
According to police, on May 12, Dunn was "lured" back to the 800 block of Park Avenue by Richards, who had promised Dunn crack cocaine. As Dunn and an unnamed witness were walking back to Dunn's car to leave, Richards allegedly ran toward Dunn and "violently attacked Dunn from behind," according to court records.
According to police, Dunn was struck on the side and back of his head and under his chin.
Dunn told police that during the beating, Richards allegedly screamed "You (expletive) Rico over." The assault on Dunn continued until two witnesses came out into the street to stop the beating.
Dunn then fled Williamsport once again, according to the affidavit.
On May 17, members of the task force convinced Dunn to return to Williamsport in order to interview him about the alleged assault. Officers noted that Dunn had a large bruise and a small cut on the back of his head, a bruise on the right side of his head above his ear and a large bruise under his jaw.
According to police, Dunn identified Richards based on photographs.
Richards was arraigned before District Judge Gary Whiteman at 2 p.m. Saturday and is incarcerated in lieu of $100,000 bail. His preliminary hearing before District Judge James G. Carn is set for 10:30 a.m. May 31.