On October 22, 1976, at approximately 0755 hours, Officer John LeCompte respondedto Dudler Dr. to investigate a suspicious person call. As he arrived on the scene, the dispatcher advised LeCompte that the suspect, who was later identified as Melvin Foot, was attempting to force entry into a residential garage.
A short time later, the dispatcher advised other officers that residents on Dudler Drive reported hearing shots being fired in the area of the call. Investigation revealed that Foot and LeCompte had become involved in a physical struggle. During the struggle, Foot ripped LaCompte’s duty weapon from its holster and shot LeCompte in the back. Foot then took LeCompte’s hat, duty weapon, and patrol car and fled the scene, driving northbound on Jeffco Blvd.
School children waiting for a school bus, at the intersection of Jeffco Blvd. and Bradley Beach Rd, informed police that they saw Foot driving the Arnold Police car, and they saw it turn off of Jeffco Blvd. onto Hollywood Beach Rd.
Officers from the St. Louis County Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department joined Arnold Police officers in a manhunt for Foot. In their attempt to apprehend Foot, he was wounded in the neck while attempting to wade across the Meramec River and he was subsequently apprehended and taken into custody. LeCompte was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds on November 21, 1976. Foot survived his wounds and remains incarcerated in a state correctional institution.
On June 14, 1977, Officer Steven Jarvis was assigned to investigate a traffic accident on northbound I-55, on the Meramec River Bridge. One of the vehicles involved in the accident was a stake-bed truck that had spilled part of its load on the roadway, in the curb lane of northbound I-55.
Officer Jarvis had parked his patrol car, with it’s emergency equipment in operation, approximately 100 feet to the rear of the truck. Jarvis had also placed several road flares to the rear of his patrol car to warn oncoming traffic of the road blockage.
While the truck driver was picking up his spilled load, Jarvis was seated in his patrol car completing some paper work. A northbound tractor trailer truck failed to see the accident scene and struck the rear of Jarvis’ police car.
This caused the police cars gas tank to rupture and explode. The police car was pushed approximately eighty feet, almost striking the truck that had been involved in the earlier accident.
Officer Jarvis was killed upon impact.