Burglary suspect charged with attacking juvenile in home

A girl returned home from school Dec. 22 to find a burglary in progress at her home at the 2500 block of Grand Avenue South, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

The criminal complaint alleges that Richard Lee Smith, age 37, ran out to the living room, punched the girl in the head and face several times, strangled her with both hands and told her to take off her pants. The girl fled the house and found a dog walker who called 911, the complaint said.

Police arrived to find Smith hiding in a bedroom of the residence, according to the complaint, and he was taken into custody with the assistance of a police canine. Police said they found valuable items from the household collected and stacked together. Police said Smith carried the keys of a stolen vehicle and had removed clothing allegedly worn during a restaurant burglary the night prior.

Smith has prior convictions for burglary and theft dating back to 2009, according to the complaint.

The state will seek an enhanced sentence in the case.