Originally created 07/14/01

Accused stalker arrested



Richmond County authorities now have custody of a West Columbia man accused of stalking at least three women at Augusta Exchange shopping center.

Richard Irwin Brown, 54, was arrested on a Richmond County racketeering warrant at his home in Lexington County, S.C., on June 29. He could not be immediately brought to Georgia because he did not waive extradition.

He was booked into the Richmond County jail Friday. Jail records list his occupation as a driver for Acme.

Mr. Brown is already a registered sex offender as a result of a 1997 conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Starting in May, he began photographing women in parking lots, then following them in traffic, police said. One woman he approached at a book store off Washington Road, and told her he recognized her as an employee of Staples, an office supply store at Augusta Exchange.

Sgt. Wayne Bunton said the racketeering, or RICO, charge can be applied because Mr. Brown's actions were a continuing pattern of criminal activity.