Passengers on Metro bus asked to keep hands up during police sea -

Passengers on Metro bus asked to keep hands up during police search for suspect

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St. Louis County Police are defending their decision to ask everyone on a Metro bus to keep their hands up while officers searched for a suspect.

“Do not move unless I tell you to move and everything is going to be ok, just fine. You understand me? No sudden movements. No nothing, ok?” an officer on the bus said. The search conducted by officers was recorded by a passenger.

Authorities said the action stemmed from a home invasion that occurred just a few blocks away on Underhill Drive in north St. Louis County. According to police, a husband and wife at the home were held at gunpoint.

“He was looking for money, he said ‘if you don't give me no money I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you,” said victim Hazel Kuhlman.

The suspect, identified as Carlos Cotton. fled the house and police believe he jumped onto the #47 bus. Authorities said someone on that bus matched his description, but police later determined he was not the suspect.

The passengers are demanding answers from police as to why they were detained.

“You guys knew specifically what you were looking for so why make all the women keep their hands up?” said passenger Laurena Williams.

Williams' cousin shot the video of police on the bus. She said the 12 minute long ordeal was frightening.

“You're on the bus and the police aren't really telling you anything except to put your hands up and they're detaining you on the bus, it's an inconvenience,” Williams said.

Police say they apologize for the hassle but said their actions were vital in a situation where an armed and dangerous man was on the loose.

“That's they're job, to make sure everyone remains safe until they found out ‘okay these are not the guys we're looking for,” said Sgt. Brian Schellman with St. Louis County Police. “They (officers) want to see their hands, if you think someone's armed you want to see their hands at all times.”

Cotton was later arrested and is now being held on a $200,000 cash-only bond. 

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