BELLEVILLE, Ill. – The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office charged a 20-year-old St. Louis man Friday for crashing a car into the St. Clair Square Mall.
According to prosecutors, the incident unfolded in the mall parking lot around 10:45 a.m. Thursday.
A 30-year-old Fairview Heights police officer noticed a red Chevy Monte Carlo that was parked next to the sidewalk outside of Dillards with its hazard lights on. The officer ran the plates and discovered that the vehicle was reported stolen from St. Genevieve County. He waited for the suspected car thief to return to the vehicle.
When the suspect returned to the vehicle, the officer attempted to confront him. The suspect then tried to speed away in the stolen car with the officer partially inside the vehicle.
The vehicle struck a bystander in the parking lot before crashing into an exterior wall at JCPenney. The suspect ran back into the mall but was eventually taken into custody by other Fairview Heights police officers.
Prosecutors said police found a handgun and fentanyl in the vehicle.
The suspect, identified as Jermaine Piggee, was charged with armed violence, aggravated battery to a peace officer resulting in great bodily harm, controlled substance trafficking, unlawful possession with intent to deliver, aggravated unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Piggee is being held at St. Clair County Jail on a $750,000 bond. He faces up to 30 years in prison if he’s convicted.