Benefit planned for St. Louis restaurant owner injured during po - KMOV.com

Benefit planned for St. Louis restaurant owner injured during police pursuit

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William Pauley, chef and owner of Confluence Kombucha, is healing after a near death accident. (Credit: Family photo) William Pauley, chef and owner of Confluence Kombucha, is healing after a near death accident. (Credit: Family photo)
Renard Jones, 19, is charged with resisting arrest following the police pursuit that crashed into Pauley's car. (Credit: police) Renard Jones, 19, is charged with resisting arrest following the police pursuit that crashed into Pauley's car. (Credit: police)

ST LOUIS (KMOV.com) – William Pauley knows he is lucky to be alive, let alone able to walk back into his restaurant Confluence Kombucha less than a month after a horrific crash on New Year's Eve.

On December 31, Pauley was leaving his restaurant in the Grove when a car fleeing from police smashed into the side of his car. 
“I don’t remember anything until January 2, when they were pulling the breathing tube out,” said Pauley.

Today, Pauley is out of the hospital but not yet able to get back to work. But his friends and customers at the newly opened kombucha shop in the Grove are happy to see him up and about as everyone greets him with a smile and a hug. 

With the help of his co-owner Julie Villarini, they’ve kept the newly opened business up and running.

“We only closed for two days as everyone rallied to make that happen because this is such a special place for people,” said Pauley.

But while Pauley is focusing on the positives he also has questions about the night of the crash. 

That night four teens were involved in a police chase, speeding down Manchester before hitting Pauley. All four were arrested that night but only one was charged.

Renard Jones, 19, is charged with resisting arrest. But the charging documents provide a bigger picture of what led up to the crash. 

“Police officers approached a vehicle that the defendant was operating that matched the description of a car that had been taken in an armed robbery approximately 30 minutes earlier.

When the officers approached another man pulled a gun and fired multiple shots at the police officers from less than 10 feet away,” Lt. Col. Lawrence O’Toole wrote in the report about the night when officers tried to initially pull over Jones’ car. 

The officers tried to stop the car but Jones drove away. The report says “he drove away at a high rate of speed violating multiple traffic signals before eventually striking another car.”

That was Pauley’s car. Police say no traffic citations were written. The three others in the car were arrested but let go. 

“Warrants against the other suspects were taken under advisement,” said a spokesperson for the St. Louis Police Department. 

The prosecutor’s office says there has been no change in the case. No other charges have been filed but they are still looking at the case. 

Pauley says it’s been difficult to get information and things like filing a car insurance claim are hindered without all the facts from the crash. 

But that’s not stopping him from working towards getting better and getting back to work. The Grove community is stepping up as well. 

Several restaurants and bars will donate a portion of their proceeds towards Pauley’s recovery on Wednesday, Feb. 1. 

Participating businesses include Urban Chestnut Brewery, HandleBar, The Gramophone, Gezellig and Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods. The benefit goes all day on Wednesday. 

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


 

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