Brutal St. Louis home invasion beating tied to Craigslist hiring

This is a discussion on Brutal St. Louis home invasion beating tied to Craigslist hiring within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Suspect in beating was hired online - STLtoday.com Suspect in beating was hired online By Christine Byers ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH 05/26/2010 CLAYTON — Rashad El, ...

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Thread: Brutal St. Louis home invasion beating tied to Craigslist hiring

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Brutal St. Louis home invasion beating tied to Craigslist hiring

    Suspect in beating was hired online - STLtoday.com
    Suspect in beating was hired online
    By Christine Byers
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/26/2010

    CLAYTON — Rashad El, charged in the near-fatal beating of a couple in south St. Louis County, had been employed to work around their home before returning twice to burglarize and rob them, officials said Tuesday.

    Police continued to look for an accomplice while the victims remained hospitalized in what St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch said was "very serious critical condition." He added, "It's as serious as it can be."

    Brad Schien, who operates a tree-trimming business, had posted an online ad on Craigslist about six week ago, looking for laborers, officials said. El responded and began doing odd jobs for Schien around the home he shares with his girlfriend, Darlene Hopkins, in the 5400 block of Medalton Way.

    "The victim may have been apprenticing him," said St. Louis County police Detective Robert Vogel.

    But El wasn't reliable enough to suit Schien, who stopped calling him for work, McCulloch explained.

    Police were already looking for El as a suspect in the theft of landscaping equipment on May 10 from the home's garage when El returned Friday and beat the couple with a metal object, officials said. That afternoon, Hopkins, barely conscious, managed to crawl to a neighbor's house for help.

    "(El) had to have known they were home," said county Police Chief Tim Fitch. He noted, "The male victim in this case has the worst head injuries I've ever seen on a living victim."

    Neighbors said they had seen a large man staring at Schien's house Thursday night, but no one called police about it. El is 6-foot-5 and weighs 250 pounds.

    A complaint filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court says El admitted the attack.

    Fitch said investigators were still looking for at least one accomplice but provided no description. Two people were questioned and released Monday.

    Hopkins' car had been stolen, along with her cell phone and credit cards. Schien's wallet, credit cards, cell phone and a laptop computer also were missing. Police said the couple are in their 40s.

    St. Louis police arrested El on Monday afternoon after responding to a disturbance call at an address where county police had been looking for him. Officers recovered Hopkins' car in East St. Louis.

    El, who turned 24 the day after the crime, is being held in lieu of $2.5 million bail on 13 charges, including first-degree assault, armed criminal action, felonious restraint, burglary and robbery. He lives in the 2100 block of East Alice Avenue in St. Louis.

    "The bond speaks for itself," Fitch said. "I think the judge and the prosecutor recognize how heinous this was."

    Fitch said Schien has not regained consciousness but that Hopkins has been awake several times.

    McCulloch credited police for making a quick arrest, and the neighborhood for helping with the investigation. "But the job isn't finished yet until everyone responsible for this is off the street," he said. "We've still got a lot of work to do."

    A community meeting of police and residents is planned for 6 p.m. today at Mary Mother of the Church, 5901 Kerth Road.

    Donna Martin, 74, said that when Hopkins came to her home for help, she said that Schien, her fiancé, recently fired El because he didn't have a car and was routinely late for work. Martin said Hopkins had to leave home to seek help because the house had no land-line phone and their cell phones were taken.

    Martin said she had a security system installed in her own home on Tuesday.

    "It's comforting that they caught him, but I was worried that they may come back after us, so that's the reason for the security system," she said. "It's frightening, you know? It really brings it home that no matter where you are, you're not always safe. There are bad people out there everywhere. There are crazy people out there."

    Joel Currier of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.
    Donna Martin, the neighbor, had a security system installed on her home Tuesday as a result of her neighbors' beating. Plus she now says, "There are bad people out there everywhere. There are crazy people out there."

    Where ya been, lady?

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    3D
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    "There are bad people out there _everywhere_. There are crazy people out there."

    ...yeah and they're mobile enough to get to where you may think you're safe! I'm beginning to trust no one -and assume nothing. . . maybe even suspect everyone and assume the worst.
    "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

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    My circle of friends is pretty small,but they are people I can trust
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    Terrible story but I don't know why craigslist gets such a bad rap. This individual could have been hired through a temp agency or a newspaper ad. People were robbing and murdering long before craigslist.
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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orygun2 View Post
    Terrible story but I don't know why craigslist gets such a bad rap. This individual could have been hired through a temp agency or a newspaper ad. People were robbing and murdering long before craigslist.
    Craigslist, unlike temp agencies, does not report to the authorities or to labor/government. It is strictly "use at your own risk". Newspapers aren't much better than Craigslist but is more regional. Craigslist spans the entire nation and is anonymous. You can post to Craigslist without ever divulging so much a your last name.
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    Well, can't say I'm surprised. It's a tragedy for sure.

    The man may still lose his life, or be a vegetable. Highly likely if he ever talks or walks again, his head injury will be significant and he stands a very good chance of being permanently disabled and never able to work again.

    It should be known to those like us, who take our security as part of our personal responsibility that we are clearly in the minority. Those like us are a significantly small part of the population.

    It's a real shame that a lot of people who do come to hold our beliefs do so only after a tragedy strikes them personally and they've been victimized. Sadly, this poor fellow may be too damaged to be able to take on that responsibility after he recovers. If he recovers.
    -Bark'n
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    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    I'm going to put some items on Craigslist for sale.
    They will be in the front yard when the people show up. No one comes into my house that I don't know.
    I will be OC when they arrive, and the wife will be inside with orders to open fire and release the dogs if something goes sideways.
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

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