Suspect arrested in Cherokee St. assault

The victim is a 64-year-old cancer patient who escaped Vietnam earlier in his life to live in America.

ST. LOUIS, MO. - A St. Louis man is facing charges for allegedly attacking and robbing a business owner on Cherokee Street.

Last month, police say a 64-year-old man was attacked in the alley outside his business in the middle of the day. The suspect allegedly punched the victim in the face then rummaged through his pockets and stole his wallet.

Family members identify the victim as Huan Le. He fell down hard during the attack, suffered a seizure, and bit his tongue in half.

On Monday, police said they arrested 34-year-old Danny Barnett in connection with the case. Barnett, who has a St. Louis address near the crime scene, is now charged with second-degree robbery. Police say was taken into custody and given a $20,000 cash-only bond.

Meanwhile, Le remains hospitalized from his injuries.

“My father is doing much better. Seeing him in the alley, and where he is today – it’s night and day difference,” said Vu Le, one of the victim’s sons. “He is slowly getting better. Every day is a new day. We take one day at a time.”

Le, a refugee from Vietnam, was already battling cancer before the attack. His family says he is now in in-patient therapy trying to regain strength and learn how to walk again.

“All we want is for him to be back where he was before,” the younger Le continued. “So he can get his chemo to treat his cancer to live some quality of life left. That's all we want.”

Le’s family said they are encouraged by news of an arrest in their father’s case.

They are also overwhelmed by the outpouring of financial and emotional support from the community. A family friend set up a GoFundMe page for Le after the attack, which already collected thousands of dollars in donations.

From his hospital bed, Le recorded a message of gratitude Monday night.

“Thank you very much, everybody,” he said, looking directly into the camera phone. “I am better right now. Thank you so much.”

“We owe St. Louis our gratitude,” Vu Le continued. “Because through the prayers and donations my father is getting better. The suspect is caught. And that’s all we could ask for at this point.”

(© 2016 KSDK)


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