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Thread: Man killed trying to stop Starbucks tip jar thieves

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    http://www.komotv.com/news/national/16333311.html

    By Associated Press

    CRESTWOOD, Mo. (AP) - Surveillance video from a Starbucks in a St. Louis suburb captures how Roger Kreutz's life changed in an instant.

    He stands in line behind a young man and woman at the coffee shop, where he's a regular customer. The young man fiddles with items on the counter while she orders a coffee, pays and heads out the door. The young man swipes the tip jar, and Kreutz, in the spur of the moment, gives chase.

    What happened next is not caught on tape. Police say the two suspects, with the young man behind the wheel of a 1990s white Ford Taurus, ran over the Good Samaritan in the parking lot.

    Kreutz, 54, died Wednesday at a hospital, two days after he was struck.

    "I don't claim to understand it," police Chief Mike Paillou said at a news conference. He said detectives are following up on leads but asked for the public's help in identifying the suspects. He did not know what provoked them - "fear, confusion, being young?"

    It's believed there was about $5 in the tip jar.

    Family members weren't surprised Kreutz went after the thieves.

    "He was just caring, loving, witty and extremely loyal," said his youngest brother, Chris Kreutz, 42. "That's how my brother is. I would have done the same thing."

    The Kreutz family owns the Holiday Inn and Viking Conference Center down the street from the Starbucks. Roger Kreutz was the oldest of five brothers, and he and Chris lived in separate, converted quarters inside the hotel.

    Roger often worked early and late hours, and took time in the afternoon to exercise with his brother, Chris Kreutz said. Their habit was picking up drinks at Starbucks. Chris Kreutz said he usually drank his iced latte before his workout, while his older, responsible brother waited until after he exercised.

    On Monday, he wondered what was keeping his brother, who had gone for the drinks. That's when he was called to the hospital.

    The brothers' father, Edward Kreutz Sr., was vacationing in Florida and hurried back to Missouri, fighting through a snowstorm on Tuesday to get here. His son was in a coma.

    "I kind of feel he kept alive so I could get back to see him," the elder Kreutz said Wednesday.

    Chris Kreutz said those who ran over his brother should turn themselves in.

    A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the conviction of the suspects. Starbucks Corp. contributed $10,000, which an anonymous donor matched.

    The Seattle-based company said in a statement that Roger Kreutz "was a longtime regular Starbucks customer whose daily presence will be sorely missed by the many Starbucks partners who knew him."

    A single rose, with a note offering prayers, stood in a vase on the coffee shop counter.

    Disbelief reverberated throughout Crestwood.

    Nate Van Laere, co-owner of the Panchero's Mexican Grill restaurant in the same shopping plaza as the Starbucks, called Kreutz's death "a fluke incident and a real tragedy."

    "It just doesn't make any sense, and hopefully they'll get prosecuted," he said of the suspects.


    [line]


    Now, it seems kind of senseless, dying over 5 dollars in a tip jar......but how many of us would do the same, trying to stop a crime from happening, and making sure justice was done......I'm sure the guy didn't think the situation was going to happen as it did. I know what I would have done in the same position.......

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    Not seeing this as really gun related so to help keep it on topic for the forum....

    Do you think the victim would have been justified in shooting the driver who was about to run him over? Or should he jump aside since it was only a tip jar?

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    The four elements of common law self-defense are; 1) Be innocent of instigation. 2) Be in reasonable fear. 3) Use sufficient force only to deliver onself from evil. 4) Attempt to withdraw.

    Tip jar is moot, mere property.

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    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    Had he been armed, dawing it would have been excessive. The kids were running away and posed no threat. He placed himself in danger (not saying what he did was wrong) and unfortunately paid the ultimate price. 5 bucks??? That's the going rate for a descent human life nowadays? Un-F'ing-believable!

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    Sad...... some just do not value the lives of others anymore.

    I would agree.... the tip jar not worth getting in the path of the car or drawing down on them.

    Property crime.....

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    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    The four elements of common law self-defense are; 1) Be innocent of instigation. 2) Be in reasonable fear. 3) Use sufficient force only to deliver onself from evil. 4) Attempt to withdraw.

    Tip jar is moot, mere property.
    +1

    I, in thought, would sit back and watch the thugs run. However, years ago in Phoenix, my friend and I were witness to a "Beer Run" and we gave chase. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but we were 18 years old and invincible.

    3) Use sufficient force only to deliver onself from evil.
    Doug mis-spelled a word?!? :P
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    Yep, suuuch a bad day.

    It's 25F outside and in the garage, the sun's shining and I'm warming up from packing for our trip South in a couple of weeks.

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    This story has some similarities to the Alexandria IHOP shooting from February 2006. I could not find the discussion on here but I remember strong opinions on both sides.

    This prank went from petty larceny to murder in the blink of an eye.

    Person opinion: It would be wrong to draw a weapon merely over the tip jar. However, I wouldn't have a problem with the samaritan drawing a weapon once the getaway car is barrelling at him.
    ---

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    Granted... I do not think the Alexandria officer should have shot at the car since he could get out of the way... and the crime did not warrant deadly force. But I would not call it murder.

    He useda level of force that was justified for someone driving directly at him with the obvious intent to run him over (Since the vehicle was not stopping). The officer just applied the forcein a situation where he could have escaped from being hit.

    How would this be different from someone entering your house?? So many think it is OK to shoot someone while they are breaking in and they have not even reachedthe home owneryet. You could escape out the window but somehow it is still OK to kill them and it would not be murder.

    Just something to think about.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Wow........non sequitor for the fail, hmm?

    What the hell does a home invasion, your comments on that notwithstanding, have to do with a store robbery and someone actually having the balls to do something to make sure this punk paid for what he did? Not saying shoot the guy for stealing the tip jar, but following him to make sure he was actually caught once the police actually showed up, between 5-30 minutes later, depending onanynumber of factors?

    Civic responsibility......it truly doesn't exist anymore; if not on this forum, then I don't know where else to search for it.......I have the ability to take action to assist in stopping this person from getting away with a crime, and the ability to defend myself should the person turn hostile, so, at least in my eyes, that means I have a civic responsibility to do what I can, within reason, to help stop this guy from committing another crime. But oh, I forgot, this is 2008, the age of "Not My Problem" syndrome.

    Oh, and yes, if some punk was busting into my home, to steal my stuff and hurt my family, you're damn right I'm not jumping out the window; I'm standing my ground and shooting that ***** if he makes me.......that's both the civic and personally responsible thing to do. But I'm sure you'd say, "Just run away and hide and let the police handle things!" Sometimes I wonder what your true purpose on this forum is......


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    If he had been OCing, I doubt the crime would have occurred while he was there. My .02 euros. If many others had been OCing they may have picked a different town or state to ply their trade.

    Sad story and it will have the effect of convincing other good people to stand aside and continue to let these scum succeed in their crimes.

    LA, SF, Chicago, DC, etc... would be cleaned up in months if people were empowered and encouraged to standtogether to take charge of their neighborhoods andbusinesses with the proper tools and authority. The state can't, won't, and will notdo that for us.

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    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    Two words Comp: Less coffee.

    The truth is that none of us have judged the involvement of the samaritan, however we have tried to relate the story to our topic of choice which involves the carry of our pistolas. Given the opportunity, I have no doubt LEO would have reacted to the situation to try to stop the kids (I would hope) just like most of us would. The issue is that we have to realize that any moment we react to any situation regardless of the level of danger, that moment could quuickly turn fatal. This is why we have to be better prepared than the average person. We are the ones who have chosen to protect them, and have have to be the rulers of our jdgement.

    Does that make sense? (i don't mean this in an argumentative way, I actually want to know if it makes sense. I myself have not had any coffee today)

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    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Do you think the victim would have been justified in shooting the driver who was about to run him over? Or should he jump aside since it was only a tip jar?
    I would ignore the theft of a few coins in a jar---there was no armed threat when the jar was snatched.

    I definitely would never, under any circumstances, voluntarily place myself in front of any moving vehicle. I have pissed of lots of drivers in parking lots who want to wave me across in front of their cars by refusing. Too easy for a foot to slip off the brake or clutch pedal.

    Now, if I found myself in front of a car about to ram me deliberately, of course I would feel the urge to shoot the driver. But if I had enough time to react, my choice would be to leap out of its path, not stand my ground and draw.

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    compmanio365 wrote:
    Wow........non sequitor for the fail, hmm?

    What the hell does a home invasion, your comments on that notwithstanding, have to do with a store robbery and someone actually having the balls to do something to make sure this punk paid for what he did? Not saying shoot the guy for stealing the tip jar, but following him to make sure he was actually caught once the police actually showed up, between 5-30 minutes later, depending onanynumber of factors?

    Civic responsibility......it truly doesn't exist anymore; if not on this forum, then I don't know where else to search for it.......I have the ability to take action to assist in stopping this person from getting away with a crime, and the ability to defend myself should the person turn hostile, so, at least in my eyes, that means I have a civic responsibility to do what I can, within reason, to help stop this guy from committing another crime. But oh, I forgot, this is 2008, the age of "Not My Problem" syndrome.

    Oh, and yes, if some punk was busting into my home, to steal my stuff and hurt my family, you're damn right I'm not jumping out the window; I'm standing my ground and shooting that ***** if he makes me.......that's both the civic and personally responsible thing to do. But I'm sure you'd say, "Just run away and hide and let the police handle things!" Sometimes I wonder what your true purpose on this forum is......
    Wow... you sure did read things wrong... May I suggest you limit your total intake of caffeine in a single day?

    I have no issue with the guy going after the kids. Glad he did since so many choose not to get involved.

    My post was in regards to a member here accusing an Alexandria police officerof "murder" when some kids tried to run him over after they had ran out on a restaurant bill greater than the $5.00 in tips.

    The correlation between the store robbery and a home invasion (burglary of an occupied dwelling) was this...

    It is apparent that it is OK to shoot someone entering your home that may not be armed and has not made an obvious attempt to attack the homeowner. By your own admission this is true.

    "I'm standing my ground and shooting that *****"

    If a police officer who is standingin thepath of a car racing towards him shoots and kills someoneinside somehow it is murder.

    So we have two situations here....

    1. When someone is entering your house you do not have to get out of the way of the attacker.You can shoot and killand it is justified.
    2. When someone is trying to run you over witha car you areexpected toget out of the way. Ifyou shoot and kill someone it is murder.

    So this all goes back to..... The guy chasing the kids out the door and then getting ran over by the kids in a car. If this man had shot the kids..... I am guessing it is going to be murder.

    Double standard on the part of some.

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    Anubis wrote:
    I would ignore the theft of a few coins in a jar---there was no armed threat when the jar was snatched.

    I definitely would never, under any circumstances, voluntarily place myself in front of any moving vehicle. I have pissed of lots of drivers in parking lots who want to wave me across in front of their cars by refusing. Too easy for a foot to slip off the brake or clutch pedal.

    Now, if I found myself in front of a car about to ram me deliberately, of course I would feel the urge to shoot the driver. But if I had enough time to react, my choice would be to leap out of its path, not stand my ground and draw.
    Agreed.

    The car is a deadly weapon.... but if I can avoid having to take the life of another... I will escape. I do not need to "stand my ground" and kill. Escape is a better option if it is only property at stake.

    Now when you must act or die... I will shoot to stop the threat.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    I was under the distinct impression, at least in WA, that a person trying to run you over with a car is a deadly threat and can be dealt with as such. I know there have been several cases where this has held true in recent years. Now since the guy chose to run after the person stealing said tip jar, I'm not sure how that changes the situation somewhat......a good prosecuting attorney might be able to convince a jury that you willingly placed yourself in that situation and were "looking for trouble", I don't know since I'm not a lawyer, or a judge. Again, as I said before, if I could have dodged the car, I would have in that situation, since I am a lot more nimble than a big, heavy car. I don't want to shoot anyone if I can avoid it, and I get the feeling that getting hit by a car would just really ruin my day. At that point, I'd give the license plate # if possible and a description of the vehicle and direction of travel, and I'd call it a day. I'm not a cop, nor do I want to be.

    What I said about the home invader stands; if it's my house, I'm not going anywhere, whether the other guy is armed or not. If he's stupid enough to try to take me on when I've got a gun pointed at his head telling him to GTFO, then well, what can be said? I'm certainly not going to say, "Well, you aren't armed, so I'll just let you rummage through my house." And I disagree that property isn't worth a life......I work damn hard for everything I own, and I should just give it up so some drugged up punkwho never workedan honest day in his life can come and take itaway from me? To me, his life isworth absolutely nothing the moment he forced his way into my home, and if he's stupid enough to do anything besides making a 180 and running like hell, he's going to get what he deserves......

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    So I take it you now understand where I was going when I combined entry into a house and a car being driven at you???

    You opinion has been made in regards to property crimes and the lengths you will take.

    I, on the other hand,find the value of human life far greater and will not kill someone for taking my property.

    Desperate people make first time mistakes and I sure do not want to be the one making sure they do anything like that ever again by carrying out a death sentence.

    I work hard for my property but it can always be replaced.... life cannot.

    Bonus Round.... Icould kill him and keep my property but when his family files a civil suit against me I am confident that the attorney fees involved to save me and my assets will cost more than the property he was going to walk off with.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    I guess the issue is that we have differing views on the value of a criminal's life. Given your profession, I guess that is a "good thing". If I were to seek a career in this field, I guess I would have to change my view on this too.......

    And maybe I haven't been clear about this, but I always think: If I can't prove self defense, then I can't shoot.......but if someone has forced their way into my house, while I am home and the lights are on, I have no reason to believe anything but that this person wishes me and my family harm; I should do everything within my power to control and eliminate that threat if necessary. Washington State law backs up my view on this, as residents of WA have no duty to retreat from any place you have a right to be. So no Castle Doctrine per se, but it is a "stand-your-ground" state.

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    Ya... guess that is a good thing, huh?

    We are allowed to have a different view. I will be sure not to break into your house!!



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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Well I'll have to admit LEO229s comment made me immediately think of the Alexandria IHOP tragedy, but lets focus this thread on what we can learn from this.

    I agree that if an OCer had been present, its very possible that the theft wouldn't have occured.

    Cars are weapons, don't get in their way.

    $5 isn't worth risking your life act accordingly.

    I think being a good witness is more than enough in this kind of situation, and if you feel that badly about the baristas getting ripped off, give them some money for their trouble.



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    compmanio365 wrote:
    To me, his life isworth absolutely nothing the moment he forced his way into my home, and if he's stupid enough to do anything besides making a 180 and running like hell, he's going to get what he deserves......
    I respect your opinion, but I can't agree with it.

    Few crimes are capital, and there's a very good reason for that. People who are basically decent can and sometimes do end up doing really stupid things. I have a very good friend who has felony convictions for burglary as well as a bunch of drug-related offenses. Believe it or not, he's also one of the finest people I know. His battle and eventual win over drug addiction made him into a man of uncompromising integrity and honesty.

    25 years after his convictions, he's managed to get his record cleared up, to the point that he has a concealed firearm permit. He's also raised three excellent boys -- who *never* had a chance to get in trouble, their dad made 100% certain of that -- and is an active and respected member of his community. Professionally, he's a respected software engineer who commands consulting fees of $250 per hour, and whose clients are glad they can get him even at that rate.

    If it had been YOUR house he'd burglarized, he might very well be dead. Given that he was high at the time, he might very well not have turned and run.

    Just because someone is making bad decisions now doesn't mean they won't ever learn the error of their ways, and it certainly doesn't mean their lives have no value.

    If I can retreat, I'll retreat. If handing over my wallet will make the mugger go away, I'll hand it over. Things are just things and can be replaced, people can't. If it seems likely that I or someone else is going to be injured, then I'll shoot, and I'll shoot the way I was trained -- center mass until the threat stops, and in all probability the aggressor will die and I'll end up wishing he hadn't forced me to do that.

    I know people who've killed and were really messed up by it even though they were soldiers and it was the right thing to do. I know others who've killed and been unaffected by it. Which would I be? I have no way of knowing and don't want to know. What I do know is that I really don't want to live with having killed someone when I DIDN'T have to do it.

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    My 2¢on the "what if" here: If I am standing in line a Starbucks and I see some guy swipe the tip jar on the way out the door, I walk over to the window and see if I can get a good description of the dirtbags and the vehicle they are driving away in, including the plate. Then I go and write it down while it's fresh and tell the barrista what I just saw and that they should call the police. Then I give the barrista a tip, sit down, and enjoy my coffee. And keep my pistol in it's holster. It's only for dire emergencies, not shoplifters.

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    leo shoots at cars for this

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    As far as the burglary scenario goes, I was burglarized while I was away on a camping trip, they ransacked my house, killed my fish, poured bleech on all my furniture, probably young gang banger types. It is a very emotional and invasive thing having your domain destroyed and can mentally stay with you forever. I will not hesitate to shoot if confronted by a burgler while I am at home, I wont go through that again. I will always have an alarm on any house that I live in, once you have it happen to you, you'll understand.

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    flyerone wrote:
    once you have it happen to you, you'll understand.
    It's happened to me. Not quite the same; all that happened to me was that stuff was stolen, no vandalism and not much breakage.

    I still wouldn't shoot unless I felt like I or my family were at risk.

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