Man charged with attempting to run over officer after Costco theft

Willie Washington

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged a 39-year-old for allegedly attempting to run over a police officer following a theft at a Costco.

According to Officer Ben Granda, a police spokesman, the theft took place Wednesday around 6:15 p.m. at the Costco on Rusty Road. An off-duty officer was shopping at the store when employees told him that two people were stealing alcohol.

The officer, who was not in uniform, went out to the parking lot and waited in his marked patrol vehicle. He watched the two suspects leave the store and get inside a van.

Granda said the officer followed the van from the parking lot to a nearby dead-end street in the 11100 block of Lindbergh Business Court. The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the van.

The driver of the van got out the vehicle and took off running. Another person exited the van but surrendered to the officer. Both suspects were soon taken into custody without further incident.

While those two people were being arrested, a third person in the van got in the driver’s seat and attempted to flee. The van struck the officer, who had to grab onto the door and window to avoid being run over or seriously injured.

The officer broke out the driver’s side window with his service weapon and fired one shot at the driver’s leg. The officer was dragged several feet before he let go and struck the pavement.

The officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries, including cuts to his hand, as well as lower body injured. He was taken to a local hospital.

The van was located soon after in the 4500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in the City of St. Louis.

The suspected driver, identified as Willie Washington, turned up at an area hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound to the leg. Washington was taken into custody at the hospital.

Witnesses identified Washington as one of the individuals stealing merchandise from the Costco.

Washington was charged with one count of resisting arrest, one count of fourth-degree assault, and one count of stealing $750 or more. He remains in custody at St. Louis County Jail on a $60,000 bond.

The two suspects that were arrested have been released from custody pending an application for warrants. Meanwhile, a fourth suspect that was not arrested remains at large.