NBC 10 I-Team: Convicted child rapist arrested in Providence

Cranston police arrest convicted child rapist Richard Gardner in Providence for allegedly violating conditions of his probation, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (WJAR)

Cranston police have arrested convicted child rapist Richard Gardner for allegedly violating conditions of his probation.

The NBC 10 I-Team was on Gardner’s street in Providence when detectives knocked on his door Friday just after 3 p.m.

NBC 10 video shows officers coming from the backyard with Gardner in handcuffs. People in the neighborhood cheered as he was taken away in a squad car.

Law enforcement sources told the I-Team police charged Gardner with two misdemeanors for allegedly including incorrect information on his recent marriage license.

Sources said he listed his address as being in Massachusetts, when he is actually living in Providence. Police said filing false information in a Vital Statistics record is a probation violation.

“He is high-profile. He knows that. I mean, he just got out of jail. You guys cover him all the time,” Cranston Police Chief Col. Michael Winquist said during a press conference. “And let’s face it. If he crosses the line, there’s going to be no leeway for Mr. Gardner, whether he’s jay walking, filing a false document – it doesn’t matter to us. We feel that he should be behind bars. He committed a misdemeanor in our city that we’re alleging and that’s why we followed through on this complaint.”

Gardner, 52, was married October 20 in the backyard of a home in Cranston.

Protesters gathered outside that event, as they have gathered at Gardner's home in the Washington Park area of Providence. Protecting Gardner has cost the city of Providence $19,000 a week.

Gardner moved to Providence after spending 30 years in prison for the kidnapping and rape of children in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Massachusetts authorities failed to ask for a civil commitment, so Gardner was released at the end of his prison terms, which was October 11.

His release sparked outrage in the neighborhood because his crimes predate Megan's Law. He registered with police but was not required to give the community any notification.

Gardner was arraigned at Cranston police headquarters and later presented to a Superior Court judge as a probation violator. He will be held at the ACI until he is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

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