SALEM — The estranged husband of a Salem woman showed up at her home earlier this month, let himself in through an unlocked door, smashed up her bathroom, stole her car and then crashed it into her house, police said.
Then, Brian Richardson, 45, of no fixed address, left a trail of blood drops, Mercury station wagon parts and automotive fluids from Planters Street in Salem to Beckford Street in Beverly, before disappearing for a week and a half, according to a police report.
Yesterday, Richardson pleaded not guilty to charges that include larceny of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering, wanton destruction of property, driving after license suspension and drunken driving — his second arrest on a drunken-driving charge this year.
The incident unfolded on the evening of Dec. 7, when police were called to the scene of a hit-and-run accident at 18-20 Planters St.
The building’s owner pointed out a 4-foot hole in the foundation and a flattened chain-link fence, as well as the headlight assembly for a Mercury vehicle, Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski told a Salem District Court judge.
A neighbor told police he had seen someone getting into a Mercury station wagon.
As police were speaking with the landlord and the witness, Richardson’s wife came out of the house, asking if they were there because of what had happened to her bathroom.
She told officers that Richardson had let himself in and then punched a hole in her bathroom window, leaving blood and glass all over.
When she asked him what he was doing there, he told her “I’m (expletive) bleeding,” then left, taking her car keys — something she didn’t realize until she got outside and learned that her car was gone.
She told police that Richardson was so drunk he was barely able to stand.