Arnaudville man booked in cruelty of grandmother

An Arnaudville man drugged his grandmother so he and his friends could make and smoke crystal meth in the attic of the woman’s home while she slept, St. Landry Parish sheriff’s officials said.

Todd Richard, 35, also is accused of stealing more than $7,000 his grandmother gave him to pay her monthly bills.

She found out about the theft after Arnaudville disconnected the water from the home she shared with the suspect, a detective said in the affidavit used in Richard’s arrest.

Richard told detectives he behaved as he did because has a drug problem.

“Unfortunately, no one is immune to abuse, not even our elders,” Capt. Megan Vizena said in a prepared statement.

“They are usually our most vulnerable victims and depend on others to meet their most basic needs.”

Richard was arrested Friday on one count each of cruelty to the infirm and exploitation of the infirm, and four counts of distribution of Schedule II narcotics,

On Monday he was being held without bail in the St. Landry Parish Jail, Vizena said.

Sheriff’s detectives were tipped off about a possible case of elder abuse by an anonymous caller, and sheriff’s detectives later interviewed a neighbor who also suspected abuse.

Detectives met with the victim at her home Sept. 27 where she said Richard on several occasions had given her Lortab to take for a cold.

“(The victim) stated that she did not like the way the Lortabs would make her feel …,” according to the affidavit.

The victim said she told Richard “to quit giving them to her” and “Todd Richard was very aggressive towards her.”

The affidavit said Richard often cooked ramen noodles for supper, and slipped the Lortab into the victim’s food mixture to make her sleep so he and others could smoke crystal meth in the attic.

The elderly woman, who physically has a hard time leaving her home, said she also relied on Richard to pay her monthly bills. She would sign personal checks made out to cash and give them to Richard to pay the bills.

Richard later admitted to detectives that he stole the money, according to the report.

“(The woman said) she did not realize that her bills were not being paid” until “… her water was disconnected for approximately three weeks and she had to get water from the neighbors,” the report said.