Man that punched 88-year-old woman has been arrested twice, records show

Police say 51-year-old Richard Derwin Howard rose out of a wheelchair and punches 88-year-old Mary Rutkowski in the face as she walks out of the H-E-B on Buffalo Speedway.

Why would a grown man sucker punch a great-great grandmother?

“I have no idea,” Rutkowski says.

“Obviously this person deserves his fair share of the blame, but our system kept punting him out to do what he does best, that’s commit crimes,” said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.

Since 1989, Howard has gone to prison twice.

“Both for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,” Kahan said.

”Why was he let out?” Rutkowski said.

Good question.

Howard was sentenced to 10 years in 2011, but he was paroled in 2016 after serving only half of his sentence.

Just three weeks after he was freed, records show Howard violated his parole.

“There was one, two, three parole warrants issued for his arrest for violating parole,” said Kahan.

His parole was finally revoked in June of 2017.

He was supposed to stay in prison until 2021.

He was paroled again in December of last year.

Was this preventable?” Kahan asked. “Sure, if he had been locked up.”

“If he’s let out again, he may commit murder,” his elderly victim said.