Police in Kentwood, Louisiana Sunday arrested a 39-year-old man wanted by Upson officials for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl July 1 just outside of the city limits of Thomaston.
But because Darryl Ricard, on advice of indigent counsel in Louisiana, has refused to sign a waver of extradition, law enforcement officers must now seek an extradition order from Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Ricard is accused of "passing through town" in a stolen dark blue Chevrolet Corsica, luring a 12-year-old girl into his car by saying he was a law enforcement officer, taking her to a remote location off U.S. 19 South where the assault occurred, then dropping her off in a Thomaston neighborhood.
Warrants were signed Friday afternoon charging the man after the release of an artist's sketch of the man brought calls from people who knew him. Ricard was reportedly familiar with the area, having visited an acquaintance here.
A witness provided law enforcement officers with the car's license plate number and an all-points-bulletin was posted on the National Crime Information Computer.
Ricard was stopped for "weaving" on Interstate 55 about 90 minutes north of New Orleans early Sunday.
"The police in Kentwood stopped him about 2 a.m. Sunday because he was weaving on the interstate," said Maj. Dan Kilgore of the Upson Sheriff's Department. "They thought he may have been DUI, but when they ran his tag, they discovered the car had been stolen and a warrant had been issued here for kidnapping."
Sheriff's Department Investigator Robert Barfield, Deputy Rodney Ozley and GBI Agents Terry Hunt and Vaughn Estes, went to Louisiana Sunday to begin processing the impounded car and bring Ricard to Thomaston to face charges.
Law enforcement officers returned to Thomaston without the suspect because Ricard was fighting his extradition, but Kilgore said deputies will drive back to Louisiana "in a few days" once an extradition order is signed.
"We'll get him here one way or the other," said Kilgore. "Hopefully, it won't take that long and we'll have him back here in a few days."
Ricard, who was in the company of a 37-year-old woman when arrested, is also accused of stealing the 1995 Chevrolet Corsica from a New Haven, Conn.-woman last May. In the Upson case he has so far been charged with kidnapping , but Kilgore said charges regarding the assault are forthcoming.
"This case has really come together," Kilgore said. "The Sheriff's Department, City of Thomaston and the GBI cooperated in an excellent manner. We all worked a ton of man hours. We went to work fast, hit it hard and got this case solved. Things have really fallen together."
Prior to the assault last week, Ricard reportedly had stayed a couple of weeks in the Thomaston area with an acquaintance, Kilgore said. authorities say, had made an acquaintance in Thomaston who he apparently stayed with "for a couple of weeks," Kilgore said.
"He's really more of a drifter and since the car was stolen in May, we can put him in Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. We've got a lot of unknowns about him, but it's coming together. It looks like he's been roaming the country in that car."
According to the Illinois Sex Offender registry, Ricard has previously been convicted of aggravated criminal assault of a "victim under the age of 18."