ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A St. Louis firefighter is accused of stealing a wallet from a teenager following a hit-and-run crash earlier this year that claimed the lives of four people.
The crash happened just after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28, at the intersection of South Grand Boulevard and Forest Park Parkway, located in Midtown.
According to police, a 2004 Chevy Impala was driving southbound on South Grand, ran a stoplight, went into the northbound lanes, and struck a 2021 Chevy Tahoe in the intersection. The SUV drove off the South Grand overpass onto Forest Park Parkway. The Tahoe landed upside down.
There were eight people in the Tahoe. One woman and three men died in the crash. They were later identified as Richard Boyd, 19; Bryanna Dentman-Johnson, 18; Corntrail McKinley, 20; and Anthony Robinson, 19. The surviving victims were taken to the hospital and eventually released.
Police claim the driver of the Chevy Impala, identified as Cedric Dixon, fled the scene but was later arrested. Dixon, 34, was charged with four counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter, eight counts of armed criminal action, four counts of second-degree assault, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.
One of the surviving crash victims got home from the hospital on Feb. 28 and noticed three recent purchases on his debit card that he did not make. It was used at a gas station and car wash business in Chesterfield, and at a convenience store in Ellisville.
The victim reported that his wallet, containing gift cards and several hundred dollars in cash, had been stolen. He told police that while he was waiting to be brought to the hospital on the morning of the crash, a first responder approached and asked for his ID. The crash victim said he thought the man was a police officer and handed over his wallet.
The victim got his ID back, but not the wallet. The victim was then taken to the hospital before realizing he didn’t have it.
According to our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, detectives with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reviewed bodycam footage from another first responder at the scene of the fatal crash. They observed a St. Louis firefighter, Arnold Britt, putting the victim’s wallet in his jacket pocket.
The Post-Dispatch reports Britt was arrested and questioned, but told investigators he accidentally used the card, thinking it was his wife’s card from the same credit union. He didn’t realize he’d used the victim’s card until weeks later. There was no mention of the victim’s missing cash and gift cards.
Britt was briefly placed on administrative leave and reinstated when the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office declined to file charges for stealing.
Instead, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Britt, an Ellisville resident, with receiving stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit or debit device. While the theft itself occurred within St. Louis City limits, the debit card was used in the county.
The victim’s family told the Post-Dispatch they’re considering requesting the circuit attorney’s office rethink filing charges against Britt.