Two St. Louis brothers are crediting their mother and local surveillance footage for clearing them in an attempted robbery case. Now, the man who initially told police the men robbed him at gun point last summer is finally being charged.
Brothers Christopher and Jerry Tate said they would’ve been jailed on robbery charges had their mother not urged police to review surveillance video in the area, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “My mother kept telling them that there was video all through that area,” Jerry Tate, 23, said. The video was recently cited in court records making the case against 29-year-old Patrick John Owens — the REAL robber.
Owens has been charged with attempted robbery, armed criminal action and second—degree assault, all felonies and making a false report, the newspaper reported. Though glad that the real suspect was finally charged, the Tates said they are upset it took nearly six months for police to charge him. What’s worse, Owens isn’t in police custody.
“I believe they listened to him because he was white,” Christopher Tate, 25, told the Post-Dispatch.
Owens initially told the cops he was parked on a local street around 3:15 a.m. on Aug. 26 when two men approached him and picked a fight. He said the suspects began kicking and punching him, prompting him to grab his gun. Owens fired his weapon, according to a police report, scaring off his attackers. He claimed to have lost his gun in the scuffle, however.
Responding officers recalled seeing two men running from the scene. One of them was seen hiding a gun in a flower pot before talking with police, a summary of the incident read. One of the men suffered a gunshot wound and was treated at a local hospital.
The gun recovered from the flower pot turned out to be Owens’, authorities said.
Meanwhile, the brothers’ version of the incident — which was eventually corroborated by surveillance video — was quite different. Court documents filed Wednesday said the Tates were getting out of their pickup truck when Owens approached and asked for a ride. That’s when he pulled out a gun and demanded one of the brother’s wallets.
The brothers said they struggled with Owen, who fired his gun, hitting Christopher Tate in the hand and face.
“I was on top of him when he shot me,” he said. “When he fired the gun the bullet hit the bone in my hand. It went through my right jaw. If I had not put my hand out it probably would have blown my entire face off.”
All three fled after the gunfire, Jerry Tate said. The brothers said they tried to explain what had happened to some officers nearby, but they wouldn’t listen. They also explained why they hid the gun, saying they feared the weapon would make them a target as they went looking for help.
Christopher Tate was taken to the hospital while his brother Jerry was transported to jail, but released the following day with no charges. Owens was also taken to jail but released on pending charges.
“It is now clear that (the victims) were telling the truth and that the defendant was lying to officers about what happened,” the detective who investigated the case said.
Both brothers said they’re happy the truth is finally out.