st. LOUIS — A St. Louis firefighter Louis is suspected of using a credit card from a crash victim who survived a crash near Forest Park Avenue and South Grand Boulevard earlier this year that killed four people, according to multiple sources familiar with the police investigation.
5 On Your Side didn’t mention the firefighter because he hasn’t been charged with a crime yet. Police used body camera footage and surveillance footage obtained from multiple locations where the victim’s credit card was used in Chesterfield to identify the firefighters, according to the sources.
St. Louis Fire Department Captain Leon Whitener told 5 On Your Side Friday, “Police conducted an investigation and no wrongdoing was found and firefighters are back to work.”
That contradicts information St. police Sgt. Louis. Charles Wall told 5 On Your Side Monday, which is the investigation is still ongoing.
“In relation to the accidents at Forest Park and South Grand, we have opened an investigation into alleged theft that occurred from the scene and a person of interest has been developed,” said Sgt. Charles Wall of the St. Louis. “No arrests have been made at this time.
“Investigators are still working to gather additional evidence and once their investigation is complete, they anticipate filing the case with the St. Louis County Attorney for any charges.”
5 On Side You left a message for Whitener Monday, but haven’t heard back.
The victim, 18-year-old Seven Robinson told 5 On Your Side that he had $674 in cash in his wallet and about $200 in gift cards in his wallet because he had just celebrated a birthday and was saving up to buy his own car.
He said the credit union didn’t ask him to pay $120 in fees he didn’t make. He still doesn’t have the cash or his gift card, and he wants to know why the firefighters haven’t been billed.
“It hurts,” said Robinson. “It wasn’t just an accident, it was the death of youths.
“You took from people who could have died.”
Four died in an accident
Robinson said he and seven friends went out on February 25 to celebrate his 18th birthday. On her actual birthday, three days earlier, she was in the hospital when her boyfriend gave birth to her son.
“My friends were like, ‘Come on, let’s eat out, let’s do something,'” she says.
Now, he wears a photo of Corntrail McKinley in a locket around his neck.
“It’s still hard to believe it’s happening,” he said.
The fatal crash occurred around 2 a.m. along South Grand Boulevard and Forest Park Avenue. When the police arrived, they found an overturned Tahoe on Forest Park Avenue. It was hit while traveling along South Grand Boulevard and fell from a bridge there, landing on Forest Park Avenue below.
Four people died, including McKinley, 20, from St. Louis, Bryanna Johnson, 18, of Vanita Park, Anthony Robinson, 19, of Jennings and Richard Boyd, 19, of St. Louis. Louis.
Four people survived including the Tahoe driver, an 18 year old man, and three passengers including Robinson, a 19 year old man and an 18 year old woman.
Police said traffic camera video showed a 2004 Chevrolet Impala driving south on the South Grand. As the driver came to a red light at the intersection, the vehicle drove into the north lane to go around traffic, flashed its lights and crashed into a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe heading west on Forest Park Avenue.
Tahoe’s driver, an 18-year-old man, and three other passengers, Seven Robinson, a 19-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman, were rushed to hospital in critical condition.
Cedric Dixon, 34, was charged with 17 crimes in connection with the crash. Initially, he left the scene, but turned himself in a few days later.
A source familiar with the investigation told 5 On Your Side the following:
Twelve days after the accident, Seven Robinson called police to say he thought a police officer took his wallet, which contained about $700 in cash because he had just celebrated his birthday, and he never got it back.
Police took Robinson’s description of the man and reviewed body camera footage of the crash response.
Police said a man matching the description asked Robinson where his wallet was, took it out of Robinson’s pocket, looked at it and gave Robinson’s ID to an officer.
Robinson said he had seen body camera footage as well, and did not believe firefighters would get involved.
“It was crazy to me because it’s like you don’t really hear about firefighters doing something like that,” he said. “It’s really interesting to watch because you can actually see her looking in her purse and like closing it and putting it on the side of her jacket.
“He never gave me back my ID, he gave me like my permission and everything he does like it’s not the first time he’s done this it’s just like this is what he does.”
On March 12, police detectives went to the fire department and two battalion heads identified the firefighters from stills captured from police body camera footage.
Robinson’s mother told police that three charges had been filed against one of her son’s credit cards on February 26 – just two days after the accident including:
Waterway in Chesterfield for $86.79
GRWC Brite Worx in Chesterfield for $22
Alta convenience store in Chesterfield for $12
Detectives pulled up surveillance footage of some of those spots and saw a truck with license plates returning to the concerned firefighter.
What the firefighters told the police
On March 17, police detained the firefighter and questioned him about the wallet.
He told them he was working at the crash site and asked Robinson’s genealogy, looked at his ID in his wallet and gave the ID to officers at the scene. He saw his wallet messy. He was then distracted by a woman seeking medical assistance at the scene, so he tucked the wallet into his jacket.
As they prepared to leave, he remembered the wallet was still in his jacket, and asked an officer what they wanted to do with it since Robinson was already in the hospital.
The firefighter told detectives that the officer told him to put it on the curb along with the victim’s other belongings, which he did. When his shift ended, he got into his personal truck, took everything out of his pocket, put everything on his center console.
He alerted officers on his way home to West St. Louis County, he stopped for gas, took what he thought was his wife’s credit card and paid at the gas station. He also told detectives that he inserted the card and hit cancel twice so he didn’t have to enter a pin or zip code.
On March 13, he told officers that his wife called him asking who Seven was because she found a credit card in his truck. He said he didn’t know and his wife said he threw it away.
On March 14, the firefighter notified officers that he told supervisors that he may have accidentally used the victim’s credit card and the captain told him not to do anything and he would run it down the chain of command.
The supervisor confirmed to the police that he was in the process of writing a memo about the incident to transmit the chain of command.
Detectives informed the firefighters that they would be pressuring charges for theft, and three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and he was released from the central patrol.