ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office has filed a weapons charge against a man who allegedly tried to carjack a marked St. Louis police SUV early Saturday morning south of downtown St. Louis.
This comes after prosecutors declined earlier this week to file more serious charges sought by police.
Allen Robinson, 27, has now been charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
According to an internal St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department document obtained by 5 On Your Side, officers sought charges of first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and resisting arrest against the 27-year-old suspect.
Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner's office said in a statement Wednesday that based on evidence provided, it had issued a charge of unlawful use of a weapon -- flourishing.
The statement went on to say it was an "unfortunate and inaccurate characterization" that the evidence provided by St. Louis police would support a first-degree robbery/carjacking charge.
"Investigations take time, and we should wait until the facts are submitted and reviewed," the statement read.
St. Louis Police Officers Association President Jay Schroeder said the weapons charge doesn't go far enough.
"We're glad that some charges were issued, but if these officers believe they were getting carjacked, and that he was trying to take their vehicle, it should be issued as a carjacking," Schroeder said.
He also questioned why it took the Circuit Attorney's Office four days to issue the charges.
"If this was the only charge, then why did we let a dangerous criminal out on the street for four days?" Schroeder said. "Nothing has changed since Saturday, if he was pointing a gun at policeman Saturday, and they knew that Saturday, that charge should have been issued Saturday."
Robinson was transferred to the Jefferson County jail following his release from St. Louis because he had warrants for his arrest there.
"It’s almost expected that (Gardner is) going to blame police every time something happens, and say we didn’t provide the right evidence, we didn’t do the right thing," Schroeder said.
Police said officers were responding to a shots fired call at Chouteau Avenue and South 7th Street when they say Robinson stepped in front of the SUV while it was traveling eastbound on Chouteau Avenue shortly after 3 a.m.
After the SUV came to a stop near the intersection at South Tucker Boulevard, police said Robinson walked to the passenger side and pointed a gun at the officers.
As the officers drove away, police say Robinson ran away after he realized the vehicle he was attempting to carjack belonged to police.
The two officers then told dispatchers what happened and provided a description of the man and the direction he ran.
Officers who responded to a subsequent "officer in need of aid" call located the Robinson about a block away. He was taken into custody in the parking lot of a nearby restaurant. Police also found a gun.
Neither the man nor officers were injured, police said.
Court records show Robinson is currently facing charges for several incidents over the past few years in St. Louis and Jefferson County, including domestic assault, violating an order of protection and first-degree property damage.
Below is the full statement from the attorney's office:
"In making criminal charging decisions, the Circuit Attorney's Office (CAO) is limited to evidence provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD). Under Missouri Law, the CAO has the responsibility for making charging decisions based on evidence presented.
"Based upon evidence under the law, our office issued the charge of Unlawful Use of a Weapon -- Flourishing this morning. Any suggestion that the evidence provided by SLMPD supports charge of robbery 1st/carjacking in this incident is an unfortunate and inaccurate characterization. Investigations take time, and we should wait until the facts are submitted and reviewed.
"In every case, the CAO is dedicated to ensuring that the office carries out its duty to prosecute criminal cases within the law on behalf of the residents of the City of St. Louis."