ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – One of the suspects who pleaded guilty in connection with the death of the owner of the Gus Gus Fun Bus was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Wednesday.
Curtis Alford will serve two decades in jail after police say he used pepper spray to carjack a Ford F-150 from two women and then shot and killed Mike Arnold, who was a bystander during the crime and the owner of Gus Gus Fun Bus.The 22-year-old East St. Louis resident pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking resulting in the death of Arnold.
Authorities say Alford and his accomplice Jana Stowers rushed up to two victims putting money in a parking meter as they were downtown attending the Taste of St. Louis.
Alford reportedly sprayed the victims with pepper spray as he tried to grab their truck keys.
According to police, while he struggled with both victims, he grabbed one by the hair and neck, pulling her to the sidewalk. Alford then pulled the keys from her belt loop and got in her truck.
“I definitely have animosity towards the defendant because he tried to either cause me serious harm or possibly even kill me,” said Harry Frye Jr, who was present during the incident and tried to stop Alford.
Alford reportedly pulled away from the curb and hit Arnold, who was in the street taking a picture of the incident.
Arnold tried to move out of the way, but Alford drove over him, dragging him across the street before jumping the curb and hitting another pedestrian.
“I have never witnessed something like that before, somebody being murdered, even as a draftee during the Korean conflict,” said Frye.
As a group of pedestrians and two police officers gathered near the corner of Seventh Street and Chestnut, Alford sped in their direction, eventually crashing the truck. The officers and pedestrians had to scatter to avoid being hit. Officers immediately arrested Alford and Stowers.
Arnold suffered severe internal injuries and succumbed to them days later.
“The loss of Mike is always with us and that will never change,” said his wife Suzanne at the sentencing. “More than anything, though, I hope we can remember all the beautiful things Mike was to us. Hopefully he gets the justice he deserves.”