In this morning’s Court Watch, we take a look at the record of a defendant currently pending in Ferguson Municipal Court. Sarah, a Dellwood resident, showed up on the August 7 docket for driving while suspended, and without insurance. There is no indication in the court records that bond was required, or that Sarah was taken into custody.
Sarah’s open case history is huge. In June 2019, Country Club Hills cited her for driving while suspended or revoked. She failed to appear, and in 2021, they placed a hold on her license. No further action was taken by Country Club Hills. In July of that year, Jennings cited her for driving while suspended or revoked, no insurance, and parking in a handicapped spot. She failed to appear, and Jennings issued warrants in those cases on October 20, 2023.
In August 2020, Normandy charged her with speeding, 31 to 35 over the limit, driving while suspended or revoked, and failure to register vehicle. She failed to appear, and Normandy took no further action in those cases. In December, Overland caught her with expired plates, and driving while suspended or revoked. Court records do not indicate whether Overland took any further action, but the case remains open.
She was cited by St. Louis county in May 2021 for speeding, 26-30 over the limit, driving while revoked or suspended, no insurance, and expired plates. A warrant was issued in 2022 for failing to appear. She was arrested in July 2023, released on a recognizance bond, and has failed to appear several times since then. She was also cited by Ferguson for stealing, and failed to appear. Ferguson issued a warrant in that case in December 2022.
It was a slow year for Sarah in 2022, with only one traffic stop. In June, St. Louis county cited her for driving while suspended or revoked, and failure to register her vehicle. She failed to appear, a warrant was issued in March 2023, and she was arrested in July. She was released on a recognizance bond, again failed to appear, and another warrant was issued on October 9.
This has again been a busy year for Sarah. On July 20, she was pulled over on West Florissant in Dellwood, and cited for going 60 in a 35, driving while revoked (suspended for stealing motor fuel), and no insurance. She failed to appear for a September hearing, and a show cause hearing is scheduled for November 2. On July 27, Ferguson cited her for going 58 in a 35 on West Florissant at Ferguson Avenue. She was also cited for driving while suspended, and no insurance. She failed to appear, and a show cause hearing has been scheduled for late November. And on September 16, Jennings charged her with driving while revoked, peace disturbance, and domestic assault. In that case, the probable cause statement states that “Violator pushed and struck victim several times on the parking lot of Jennings Police Station. Both violator and victim appeared to be mutually fighting and yelling at each other. Violator and Victim both committed crimes of domestic assault and peace disturbance, and were both charged accordingly.”
At this moment, Sarah has 11 outstanding cases, of which all but one, she has failed to appear. She has an active warrant from Ferguson for stealing, an offense which is more serious than rolling a stop sign. Yet driving through our city at highway speed while having an active warrant from our own court was not enough to get her arrested in Ferguson. Is it any wonder that law enforcement is not taken seriously in our city?
UPDATE: We reached out to city officials regarding this matter, and they declined to comment.