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On the run… suspect busts into 5-year-old girl’s bedroom

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - A Richmond mother said she did not realize just how thin the walls were in her apartment until she got a rude awakening Tuesday morning.

Shane Ward said she thought crews were doing construction in the building.

Instead, U.S. Marshals were in the apartment directly below Ward's trying to arrest 33-year-old Shawn Rives of Petersburg.

Investigators said Rives, who was eventually arrested on an outstanding federal warrant and charged with distributing and possessing cocaine, tried to make a run for it by kicking through the drywall and eventually ending up in a 5-year-old girl's bedroom next door.

“Kicking down the wall to get to the next apartment without the door? I mean, who does that,” Ward asked.

KBS Construction's Jon Reed said getting through is possible, especially in older apartments since these days only a small bit of insulation and soundproofing are required. But in most apartments, there's not much in between the drywall and the insulation.

“In older apartments, you may have thinner drywall. So instead of five-eighth inch, which is typical now, you may have half inch of drywall,” Reed said.

Despite such thin walls, Richmond's Commissioner of Buildings said he has never heard of a case like this. Therefore, there's no building code in place to create more of a barrier between neighbors.

“As far as security, the code doesn't really address that. It’s more of a fire and sound issue,” says Doug Murrow said.

Ward said she now considers the matter a safety issue after what happened.

“Should I feel safe? You know what I mean... You never know who is living next door," Ward said.

The 5-year-old girl in the neighboring bedroom was not hurt.

Rives is being held without bond.


    • Manalishi

      Jessica, apparently you don’t read “white crime” articles. Which of course makes you the racist. I slam all democrats for what/who they really are and leave the stereotyping up to you. Hey KOOL-AID!!

  • Glen Allen

    What do republicans or democrats have to do with this. The buildings are constructed as cheaply as possible. This is not a “Richmond” thing, it is this way everywhere. And yes, you can literally take an razor knife and enter your neighbor’s apartment in these cases. Better built apartments have CMU between the units. You should ask the apartment manager where you live, how your building was built.

    • manalishi

      Glen, Who said anything about republicans or Richmond? But now that you mention them,,,that’s not a picture of Romney or his “sons”.

      • manalishi

        Great point snogale! This This happened at the democrat voter plantation called “the projects” where the perp was more than welcome to hang out.

    • manalishi

      Well put Mary,,,, er well,,,kind of. The story here is of a fugitive democrat that was aided and abetted (by more democrats) kicks his way through a wall in a section 8 rental in an attempt to escape. But the spin would manipulate you to think that the sheet rock and construction methods forced a honor student to accidentally fall through into a 5 year old girls room. Did you get that? Or are you a democrat?

  • Billy Bar

    Manalishi is obviously a mental case or an ignorant juvenile who somehow believes he is clever. But the real problem here is wtvr who allows this kind of vulgar rant on its public sites.

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