Last summer, a pair of brothers were arrested for attacking and robbing a downtown loft-dweller early one morning.
But six months later, the truth has finally come out — backed up by video surveillance. The brothers, Christopher Tate, 25, and Jerry Tate, 23, were actually the victims. They'd been robbed at gunpoint by 29-year-old Patrick John Owens — who framed them as his attackers after shooting the older brother.
The Tates are black; Owens is white. And the Tates can't help but think that might have something to do with the police response.
“I believe they listened to him because he was white,” Christopher Tate told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Police say that surveillance video shows Owens accosting the brothers as they got out of a pickup truck at 11th Street and Lucas. First Owens asked for a ride; then he brandished a gun and demanded their wallets.
In the struggle that ensued, Owens allegedly shot Christopher Tate, then lost his gun. The brothers took off running with the gun, and hid it in a flower pot in an attempt to keep Owens from finding it.
Unfortunately for them, the police apparently spotted them hiding the gun. And when Owens claimed the two had attacked him, police were all too willing to believe them. The brothers were arrested, with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported at the time
that they'd kicked and punched another man who fought back with his gun.
As the paper now details in an extraordinary story
, it took the brothers' mother pushing police to get surveillance video for the truth to come out.
“My mother kept telling them that there was video all through that area,” Jerry Tate told the daily.
Court records show, incidentally, that Owens had previously pled guilty to driving under the influence in St. Louis County. He was sentenced to two years probation.
Just two weeks before the incident where Owens allegedly framed the brothers, court records show he was again busted for DWI, this time in Sunset Hills. That case is still pending.
Owens is now facing charges of attempted robbery, armed criminal action and second-degree assault as well as one misdemeanor count of making a false report.
Mom, apparently, gets all credit for the solve.
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