Man accused of killing good Samaritan arrested

March 8, 2008 6:34:37 AM PST
A 19-year-old man suspected of stealing a tip jar from a Starbucks in a St. Louis suburb and fatally running over a Good Samaritan who was trying to stop him has been arrested. Aaron Poisson was charged Friday with involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and theft in the hit-and-run death. The first two counts are felonies, the third a misdemeanor.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said murder charges were not filed because evidence indicates that Poisson did not intend to kill Roger Kreutz, 54, when he allegedly ran over him in a Crestwood parking lot on Monday. Kreutz died two days later.

Authorities say Kreutz ran outside of the Starbucks, pursuing Poisson after he saw him steal the tip jar, believed to contain about $5.

"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. No charges will be filed against her, he said.

Poisson was arrested Thursday at a St. Louis residence, Crestwood police Chief Michael Paillou said. The suspect was in town searching for a job and planned to move to the area, Paillou said.

Poisson was being held on $50,000 bond. He did not yet have an attorney, according to court filings.

Kreutz was a regular customer at the Starbucks and well-liked by its employees. Video surveillance showed him give chase when he saw the suspect take the tip jar.

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