Richard Foster punched, hobbled and spit-socked after bizarre attack

Plenty of arrests are routine -- but not the one that landed 23-year-old Richard Foster in a Boulder jail. Boulder Police Department spokeswoman Sarah Huntley describes the twisted series of events that took place on the 1000 block of Canyon Boulevard, between the Boulder Public Library and the city's main municipal building.

"On Saturday, a woman was sitting on a stone bench along a bike path holding her one-year old son, when a man unknown to her came up behind her and hit her with a glass bottle," she says. "He struck her with it like a club and it shattered. And there's no evidence that she did anything to provoke him."

Weird -- but it would get weirder.

"Her husband was with her," Huntley continues. "He stepped between his wife and his child and the suspect -- and at that point, the suspect began swinging a backpack at the husband, hitting him in the back."

Hubby's response? "He hit the man once in the face, causing the suspect to fall to the ground."

A bicyclist on the nearby path saw this happening and dialed 911 -- and given the nearness of the incident to the municipal building, police were on the scene almost instantly.

"The suspect was still on the ground when we arrived," Huntley says. "But when he was placed in custody, he became combative, attempting to kick at the officers. So he was placed in a hobble."

He was hobbled? Like James Caan in Misery?

"Essentially it's like a hogtie," Huntley explains. "Law enforcement doesn't usually like to use that term. But it's basically a technique when people are becoming combative, where his arms and legs are tied behind him."

But that didn't do anything to restrict the use of his mouth -- and Huntley notes that "he began spitting at the officers. So they used a spit sock."

A what?

"A spit sock. It's basically like a mask that goes over their mouth, so that when they're spitting, it stays in the mesh, as opposed to coming out and hitting people."

That doesn't paint a pretty picture, especially given that Foster has a beard. Nonetheless, the spit sock didn't crush his disruptive spirit.

"The officers took him to jail, where he continued to shout and be combative," Huntley says.

Foster was eventually booked on charges of third-degree assault, physical harassment and child abuse. Fortunately, neither the mom nor her tot, who live in Broomfield, suffered serious injuries, although there were some red marks on the mother's back from where the bottle struck.

As for Foster, he established a new trifecta: Punch in the face, hobbling, spit sock. Not that he necessarily felt any of it. According to Huntley, "The officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol on him."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts