ARRESTED | Suspect Who Accosted & Spit on Protestors Was Put in Custody, Then Released

SCREENCAP from video taken by Victoria Patterson | The assaulter, Joe Luis Richreek, spits at the camerawoman. Richcreek has been arrested 40 times and convicted of at least 20 crimes in the past years

South Pasadena police on Friday evening arrested Joe Richcreek, 56, who was recorded on video spitting at two Black Lives Matter demonstrators two days earlier as he sat on a bicycle at Fair Oaks and Mission. He was charged with simple battery and released.

PHOTO: Anna Fratto | News | The unidentified man who spat on BLM protestors crossing Fair Oaks Ave

Richcreek, who told police he was from Monterey Park, was spotted, then pursued by demonstrators and bystanders just two days after the initial spitting incident. He fled. The police were called.

According to witnesses, the demonstrators and bystanders caught up to him and surrounded him until authorities arrived. They reported was riding the same bike going through the same intersection.

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Before fleeing south on Fair Oaks, he picked up a rock and threw it at Fahren James, one of the victims from the earlier spitting incident.

Richcreek was charged by SPPD with a misdemeanor for throwing the rock, which hit James’ left lower leg. Police said he will likely be charged later with a second misdemeanor for the spitting incident.

Cpl. Gilberto Carrillo said the suspect was not initially charged with spitting because by the time he was arrested, that crime had already been reported to the District Attorney, who was awaiting identification of the offender.

Absent the rock throwing, Richcreek would not have been arrested at the scene, Carrillo added, because spitting is not a felony. Rather, once he was identified, a warrant would have been issued for his arrest.

According to a SPPD statement, after police arrived and began questioning Richcreek, Cpl. Randy Wise observes people yelled at police. He told them to step back or face arrest themselves.

Richcreek’s court date at the Alhambra courthouse is set for October 9, 2020

We are following this story closely. Check back for first-hand accounts of the incident and subsequent interactions between the victims and the South Pasadena Police Department.



Ben Tansey
Ben Tansey is a journalist and author. He grew up in the South Bay and is a graduate of Evergreen State College. He worked in Washington State as a reporter in a rural timber community and for many years as an editor for a Western electric energy policy publication based in Seattle.