Repeat Drunk Driver Held Pending Dangerousness Hearing

BOSTON, August 7, 2017— An Attleboro man charged with drugged and drunk driving when he struck a child on a crosswalk is held pending a dangerousness hearing, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

RICHARD M. HIGGINS (D.O.B. 1/21/39) of Attleboro was arraigned today in South Boston Municipal Court on charges of operating under the influence of liquor as a fifth offense, operating under the influence of drugs, operating a motor vehicle after suspension for operating under the influence, operating under the influence after suspension for operating under the influence, leaving the scene of personal injury, leaving the scene of property damage, negligent operation, and speeding.  According to prosecutors, Higgins was previously convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol in 1962, 1996, 1998, and 2007.

At the request of Assistant District Attorney Franklin Kanin, Judge Michael Bolden ordered Higgins held pending the outcome of a dangerousness hearing on Thursday to determine whether there is “clear and convincing evidence that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community.”

Massachusetts State Police on Saturday afternoon responded to the area of Old Colony Avenue, where a Ford Explorer driven by Higgins had struck a 12-year-old girl on a crosswalk as well as multiple vehicles.  Boston Police, Boston Fire Department, and Boston Emergency Medical Services also responded. 

The victim was transported to Tufts Medical Center with injuries that were considered serious but not life-threatening.

According to prosecutors, Higgins was observed by witnesses driving approximately 60 miles per hour in a stretch with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour when he lost control of his SUV and struck a parked vehicle.  The impact of the crash caused the front axle of Higgins’ vehicle to break and the front right wheel to strike another parked vehicle.  He then struck a third vehicle and accelerated, allegedly striking the victim in a crosswalk.  The SUV continued traveling another 50 feet before it struck a fourth vehicle. Higgins’ vehicle finally came to a stop approximately 500 yards from the location of the final collision, prosecutors said.

Witnesses told police that they observed Higgins tossing beverage cans over a fence prior to the arrival of officers. 

Police spoke with Higgins and detected an odor of alcohol coming from his person.  He appeared to be unsteady and have glassy, bloodshot eyes, prosecutors said.  He allegedly made statements admitting to consuming alcohol and Vicodin earlier in the day, and to discarding beer cans from his vehicle before officers arrived. 

Higgins was represented by William Gens.  He returns to court for a dangerousness hearing Thursday.




All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.