Charges dropped in vicious assault, robbery case after victim dies

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office is dropping charges in an assault and robbery case against an elderly man.

“I don’t want to relive the event. However, it was horrific enough where his face was fractured from one side to the other side,” said Vu Le, the son of the victim, Huan Le.

Police said Huan Le was brutally attacked and robbed on October 24, 2016 outside his business near Cherokee Street.

Huan Le passed away in February as a result of cancer. And since he cannot be called as a witness, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said she must drop the charges against a suspect.

“It’s a shock to the system, because four days prior to trial, we just assumed they would be coming to the house to talk about preparing for trial,” Vu Le said.

Instead, Gardner had other news for the Le family. The circuit attorney released the following statement about the matter:

"We explained to them that this was a heartbreaking, but necessary, decision for us. We simply don’t have the evidence to prove who committed this crime beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law at this time."

Police arrested a suspect in November, there was a grand jury indictment, and the suspect even said something that connected him to the incident. But as time went on, evidence and witnesses didn’t pan out.

According to Gardner, Huan Le was the only true connection they had to a conviction

"…any opportunity for identification evidence disappeared,” Gardner said.

Vu Le said detectives should have come back weeks later and interviewed his dad, who was concussed when he told police he didn’t know who attacked him.

“We're left with my father buried, a suspect which they thought they had, freed, and a family has to deal with it,” he said.

Gardner’s office said when Le told police he didn’t know who hit him, investigators looked at other evidence. Prosecutors said it’s sad they couldn’t find a witness to this crime, but are still asking anyone with information on the case to come forward.