WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A man with several previous drug arrests faces three new charges after police said he swallowed a baggie containing what an officer believed to be methamphetamine after showing it to the officer.
Richard Nathaniel Byrd, 46, of Wichita Falls, was booked into the Wichita County Jail on Friday, December 30, 2022, and faces the following charges:
- Tampering with or fabricating evidence — 3rd-degree felony
- Unlawful possession of a handgun by a felon — 3rd-degree felony
- Resisting arrest — Class A misdemeanor
According to the arrest affidavit, officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department noticed a silver Hyundai in the parking lot of a car wash in the 2800 block of Old Iowa Park Road on Thursday, December 29, 2022, at around 10:46 p.m.
The officer noted the car was backed in next to the furthest vacuum on the northwest side of the car wash. He said the car was turned off and no one could be seen outside. He said due to car washes being burglarized this year, he decided to check on the vehicle.
Authorities said as the officer approached the vehicle, the driver began opening his door. The officer observed the driver to have “bloodshot and glassy eyes”. The driver was later identified as Byrd.
Police said the officer went to the driver’s side door and could see inside the vehicle. He said he noticed a small baggie containing a white crystal-like substance in a compartment near the window switches of the door.
According to the officer, when he asked Byrd if he had any “weed”, Byrd picked up the baggie and showed it to the officer for a brief second before placing the baggie into his mouth and swallowing it.
The affidavit said the officer then told Byrd to step out of the vehicle, and Byrd replied, quote “for what, I didn’t do anything.” The officer told Byrd he was being arrested.
The officer said Byrd then held on to the steering wheel and refused to exit the vehicle, using his strength to prevent officers from removing him. However, when the officer pulled out his taser, Byrd complied and exited the car and got onto the ground.
While on the ground, he pulled his hands toward the center of his body to prevent him from being handcuffed but eventually complied.
A search of the car once Byrd was in custody revealed a case on the floorboard containing a Taurus .9mm handgun with a round in the chamber and 11 rounds in the magazine.
A records check on Byrd by the officers revealed two felony convictions on Byrd, one for burglary of a building out of Tarrant County in 1998 and another for theft in Wichita Falls in 2021.
In all, Byrd has been arrested 12 times in Wichita Falls since 2006, including seven drug arrests and two theft arrests. At the time of his arrest on Thursday, he also had an outstanding traffic warrant for speeding. WFPD officials said the speeding ticket was for driving 49 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per-hour zone.