CLAYTON, Mo. – A woman being threatened by an abusive boyfriend found help in an unexpected place: inside a local Circle K gas station.
According to a probable cause statement from the St. Louis County Police Department, the victim was in a romantic relationship with Daron Cooper.
In the early morning hours of May 28, police claim Cooper and the victim were in his car when they got into an argument. Cooper accused his girlfriend of cheating on him and punched her in the face and body several times. He also pointed a handgun at her and threatened to kill her and her family.
The woman attempted to jump from the vehicle, but Cooper pulled her back into the car and punched her again. They eventually returned to Cooper’s apartment.
On Monday, May 30, the couple was riding in Cooper’s vehicle again when he allegedly threatened the victim. Cooper pulled his car into a Circle K and the victim went inside.
While inside the store, she asked the clerk to call 911.
When officers arrived, they found the woman at the Circle K and observed that she had two black eyes as well as other cuts and bruises on her face.
The officers attempted to speak with Cooper and detain him. Cooper wrestled away from the police and ran away, but he was located nearby and arrested.
Police said they found a handgun in Cooper’s vehicle.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Cooper with second-degree domestic assault, resisting arrest for a felony, first-degree kidnapping (inflicting injury or terrorizing), unlawful use of a weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Cooper remains jailed on a $250,000 cash-only bond.
According to police and prosecutors, Cooper has multiple convictions for felonies in St. Clair County, Illinois, including battery, armed robbery, and possession of a stolen firearm. He had been on parole for a September 2016 conviction and still has a pending case in St. Clair County for numerous drug charges.