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Friday, June 22, 2018

Mike Arnold, aka Gus Gus Fun Bus, Has Died; Two Charged in Carjacking

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 11:12 AM

  • Mike Arnold, R.I.P.
Mike Arnold — better known as Gus Gus Fun Bus, a cheerleader for St. Louis' food and drink scene who took revelers around town in his fourteen-passenger van — has died.

The St. Louis police confirmed the death after Arnold's wife, Suzanne, made a statement this morning. Mike and Suzanne Arnold have eight children between them.

"Our family is very heavy hearted today," Suzanne Arnold said in a statement. "We have lost one of the very best people in our little world. Everyone has known of the circumstances of Mike Arnold's battle these past few days after being struck by a truck Saturday. He fought hard, but I'm sad to say that his body couldn't fight any longer and he lost his battle yesterday evening.

"Our family is heartbroken," she continued. "We've lost a wonderful loving son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, & friend to so many. We've lost the most important part of what made our big giant family complete."

A beloved figure in St. Louis' social media community, Arnold was badly injured downtown last Saturday, June 16, near the Taste of Downtown STL — and then spent days struggling for his life in intensive care.  Police have said Arnold was the victim of two carjackers who intentionally ran him down around 12:34 p.m. while he was filming them on his cellphone.

Witness Jennifer Hodges reported in a Facebook Live video on the scene at 700 Chestnut that afternoon that the suspects attacked two young women to get their Ford F-150 truck, pepper-spraying them directly in their faces.

The robbers were fleeing in the stolen vehicle, she said, when they ran into a pole, catching the attention of police.

click to enlarge Jana Stowers, left, and Curtis Alford. - COURTESY OF SLMPD
  • Jana Stowers, left, and Curtis Alford.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office has issued charges against the two individuals. Curtis Alford, 20, of the 2100 block of Bellevue Avenue, has been charged with one count of Robbery 1st Degree, five counts of Armed Criminal Action, two counts of Assault 1st Degree, one count of Assault 1st Degree – Special Victim, and one count of Assault 2nd Degree. Bond was set at $200,000, cash only.

Prosecutors also issued one count of robbery first degree and one count of Armed Criminal Action against Jana Stowers, 18, of the 1300 block of Bowman in East St. Louis. Bond was set at $40,000, cash only.

The attempted robbery took place on a busy afternoon downtown, with not only the Taste of Downtown STL event but also the Cardinals taking on the Cubs.

"There's a lot going on downtown," Hodges said on her Facebook Live broadcast. "It's a shame someone would try to ruin this with their foolishness, and their idiocy, with people who work hard for their things."

A GoFundMe to aid Arnold's family has raised more than $18,000. Supporters are asking for more donations in light of Arnold's passing.

Arnold's daughter and wife have both tweeted in recent days to thank community members for their support.

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