What started as an assault ended with a murder when police say a man lead them on a chase that resulted in a car crash.
On Tuesday reports say that a couple entered a Dollar General store and attempted to rob the workers. In the ordeal one of the workers was assaulted as the assailants made their getaway.
Police say Daryl Powell, 31, drove the getaway car on Tuesday after his passengers assaulted a Dollar General employee during a robbery. According to witnesses the passengers in the car robbed the store then beat the store's assistant manager in the head with an item from the shelves.
Authorities said the group went to a Dollar General at 10060 Halls Ferry Road at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and “completely loaded a shopping cart with bottles of laundry detergent,” which Sgt. Tracy Panus said people often steal in bulk to then sell. When an assistant manager at the store tried to stop them from leaving, police said, one man, identified as Javon Crawford, hit him in the head more than 10 times with a container of laundry detergent that weighed about 11 pounds.
When they exited the store, a quick thinking witness called the authorities to report the incident and give the license plate number to the car.
The group, with small children in the car, fled from police in both St. Louis and St. Louis County, and crashed into 34-year-old Jerome Hightower. The crash sent the assailants and Hightower to the hospital for their injuries however, Hightower died at a hospital that afternoon.
According to the St. Louis Dispatch, Powell was also charged in the county, where the initial robbery happened, along with Crawford, 30 (below), and Adrianna Evans, 28. The three suspects each face charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action.
All three were in custody, but Powell and Evans were still hospitalized Wednesday, police said.
Two toddlers, both 3 years old, were in Powell’s car when he fled police and crashed.
Republican Councilman Dennis Hancock, of Fenton, told the Post-Dispatch the suspects are more to blame than the police.
“It’s a tragedy that an innocent person lost their life. But that, to me, is more the responsibility of the person who, when they saw the officer with the flashing lights, didn’t stop but just kept going,” he said.
County councilwomen Rita Heard Days, a Democrat from Bel-Nor, and Lisa Clancy, a Democrat from Maplewood, both said they were distressed by the pursuit.
“This is the reason we talked about not doing those kinds of pursuits,” Days said. “People are sometimes in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if you don’t have the chases, then you don’t have to worry about this kind of thing.”
Crawford, who lives in south St. Louis, and Powell are each being held on $250,000 cash-only bonds. Evans, who lives in north St. Louis, is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
There has been no word on who the children in the getaway car belonged to but, their condition has been listed as stable.