Georgia teen faces criminal charges in Starbucks good Samaritan's death

Saturday, March 8, 2008

CLAYTON, Mo. — A 19-year-old from Georgia who allegedly stole a tip jar from a suburban St. Louis Starbucks and ran over a good Samaritan trying to stop the crime faces criminal charges. Aaron Poisson was charged Friday in St. Louis County with involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and theft in the hit-and-run death on Monday. The first two counts were felonies, the third a misdemeanor. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said murder charges were not filed because all evidence indicates Poisson did not intend to kill Roger Kreutz, 54, when he allegedly ran over him. Kreutz had run outside of the Starbucks, pursuing Poisson after he saw him steal the tip jar. "It just kind of indicates all the horrible consequences that can come from a relatively minor offense," McCulloch said. McCulloch said Poisson, of Cumming, Ga., and a young female companion were traveling through the St. Louis area Monday when the accident happened. The companion's name has not be released and no charges will be filed against her, McCulloch said. He said the couple didn't appear to be hiding from the law this week as a massive manhunt was mounted to locate them. "They were still in the area and not actively hiding from authorities as far as we can tell," McCulloch said. Poisson was arrested Thursday at a St. Louis residence, said Crestwood police chief Michael Paillou. Poisson was in town searching for a job and planned to move to the St. Louis area, Paillou said. He declined to discuss the case further because it is now in prosecutors' hands. He said the arrest means Crestwood residents can move past the incident. "I hope we did our part for Roger's family," Paillou said. Poisson is being held at the St. Louis County Justice Center in Clayton on $50,000 bond. McCulloch said he likely would be arraigned Monday morning. Poisson does not yet have an attorney in the case, according to court filings. Kreutz was a regular patron at the Starbucks and well-liked by employees there. According to video surveillance of the incident, he didn't hesitate to chase Poisson out the door after he saw the tip money had been stolen. Police say Poisson made off with about $5.

Crestwood Police Chief Michael Paillou updates the media during a morning press conference about Roger Kreutz's passing. Kreutz was run over by a car while trying to stop thieves from stealing a Starbucks tip jar, died Wednesday, March 5, 2008, in Crestwood, Mo.. Police have no solid leads to report in finding the couple who did it. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dawn Majors)
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