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FFs Support MO Store Worker Injured by Shoplifter

Monday, Oct. 7th 2019

Firefighters are rallying around the family of a Menards employee who was critically injured Wednesday when a fleeing shoplifter hit her with a car.

Michelle Arthur, 49, remained hospitalized Friday. She was injured at the Menards at 14161 Manchester Road in unincorporated St. Louis County. No updates were available Friday on her condition.

Arthur is married to firefighter Joe Arthur of the Metro West Fire Protection District.

“They have a long road ahead of them,” Metro West Fire Lt. Matt Coppin said. “I can’t speak to her condition or what she’s had done as far as care, but it’s going to be a process.”

Coppin worked on the same six-person crew with Joe Arthur for five years and said the firefighters and their families are a tight-knit group.

“Michelle is extremely talkative,” Coppin said. “She would talk to anybody about any topic. She’s not only a worldly traveler but knowledgeable about a wide variety of topics.”

Coppin said Joe Arthur was not working the night his wife was struck by the vehicle; the Menards store is in another fire district’s jurisdiction.

When Coppin got the call about Michelle Arthur’s injuries, “it was a punch in the stomach. It kind of takes your breath away.” He and other firefighters and relatives spent the night at the hospital, rallying around the family.

“I can think of no worse feeling than seeing someone you love suffering in pain,” he said.

Coppin said firefighters and their families are providing support to the Arthur family, including delivering food and helping with yard work.

“It’s going to be a long road,” he said. “We’ll be there for that haul.”

Sgt. Benjamin Granda of the St. Louis County Police Department had no updates on the investigation Friday. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477 or St. Louis County police at 636-529-8210.

The attack happened about 8 p.m. Wednesday . A woman came into the Menards store with five children. She walked the aisles, loading up a cart with various items. One of the older kids pushed the cart out without paying, Granda said. People on the lot saw the group rushing toward a white car; employees at Menards and a person on the lot “contacted” the woman on the parking lot.

The woman spotted a man in a parked car taking a photograph of her vehicle, so she confronted him, grabbing the phone from his hand and injuring his face, police said. She then got into a car and accelerated toward Arthur, hitting her, police said.

The shoplifter and the five children got away. She is described as a black woman, 35 to 45 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds. She was wearing a bright neon shirt or jacket and a dark head wrap, police said. The children appeared to range in age from a baby to teenager.

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