Sunday, August 30, 2009

Police Incident Reports, Soulard Neighborhood, Aug. 23 - 30

Incident reports for Soulard from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for the seven day period of Sunday, August 23 through Sunday, August 30 include:

1 robbery: 900 block of Russell, reported at 10:28 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23.

3 theft: 2100 block of S. 12th, reported at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28; 2300 block of S. 13th, reported at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 28; 700 block of Russell, reported at 6:50 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24.

1 DWI: S. 10th and Geyer, reported at 8:27 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28.

There were reported 123 service calls, including accident (7), accident w/injuries (4), arrest attempt (2), assault (2), assist motorist (7), attempt holdup (2200 bock of S. 9th), attempt larceny, auto theft (4), burglar in the building, call for police - calling for help - disturbance (5), disturbance (4), fight (2), holdup, parking violation (12), shooting (900 block of Russell), shots fired (900 block of Russell, Russell and Menard), suspicious person (14), etc.

In recent blog postings there was made note of an unfortunate accident involving the dog of a customer of Elicia’s Pizza. The dog was struck and killed by the delivery driver. The owner of the dog was interviewed for the story, and then Elicia’s Pizza e-mailed their side of the accident. Several elements of the accident, as explained by the two sides, are contradictory.

However, it was noted that the customer, a resident of Soulard, called the police and asked the police to make a report of the incident. Madame Chouteau checked the Safe City Incident Mapping site, which is the source of all of the above information. Following is what was recorded regarding the accident: Call type: Injured animal; Reported as: Animal bite; Date time: 2009/08/21 20:15:00; Address: 1300 block of Sidney St.; District: 3.

Madame Chouteau has no sources of information about crime in the Soulard neighborhood other than what is revealed on the Safe City Incident Mapping site, unless those with knowledge of crime incidents step forward. The reason this information is being posted is because it is important that residents and visitors to Soulard understand that there is crime in the area and that they need to be alert to this fact and to act appropriately.

For example, the crime map on the Safe City Incident Mapping site indicates that during the last seven day period, there was considerable police activity along Russell in response to reported incidents. Residents and visitors may wish to verify this information for themselves by visiting the Safe City site.

Good luck, and try to avoid becoming a statistic. Remember, a large element of avoidance depends on you and how you conduct yourself.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Addendum: Elicia's Pizza Driver Kills Neighborhood Dog

The following e-mail regarding the Elicia’s Pizza delivery driver accident was opened on Friday, August 28 and was immediately posted in its entirety. For additional information, please see the preceding blog posting.

"Hi, I am David, the owner of the Elicia’s Pizza located at 3209 Gravois, and this letter is in reply to the incident that happened in Soulard last weekend. On behalf of myself, my driver and the entire crew of Elicia's Pizza, we extend our sincerest condolences to the owner of the dog, along with his family and friends.

"The entire staff of Elicia's Pizza would never intentionally hurt any animal. Several of my employees are animal lovers and have rescued and adopted animals, including myself and my general manager.

"My location works with many of the non-for-profit organizations, schools and churches on a daily basis to help make our community a better place to live.

"The delivery driver who is accused of hitting the dog does not believe he ran a dog over. He is a family man who has 6 children and pets of his own. He has stated that he would never intentionally hurt an animal.

"It was not confirmed that a dog was hit in Soulard until late Tuesday afternoon and that dog belonged to one of our customers. The following day a sympathy card was sent to the owner.

"Throughout the last twenty–four hours I have made several calls, and replied to several emails regarding this situation. There is so much hearsay going around as far as what happened. If you read each and every post and email, the story changes. Examples:v "The manager asked the owner of the dog, "What do you want me to do? Fire him?" That was never said. My manager couldn’t even get two words in through the phone call when she spoke to owner. Some emails saying the gate was open some saying the gate was closed. The day that it happened changes. This happened Friday August 21st, some post / emails say Saturday and the lady who I spoke to last night thought it was on Sunday.

"I have spoken to the employees involved who spoke with the owner along with the delivery driver, and here are their stories.

"Friday night, August 21st, as he has done for the last fifteen years, he left on a delivery going to Soulard. As he arrived on the block, he made a right and parked on the side of the house, grabbed the bag of food and exited his van. He had to walk around the corner of the block, and down the sidewalk to get the front gate of the house. He opened the gate, and proceeded to walk up the sidewalk, then up the steps on to the front porch. As he approached the front door, the screen door was closed, but the main door was opened. As he started to knock, two dogs came to the front door and started barking. After about a minute the owner came to the door. The owner tried to get the dogs back so he could come out on the front porch, but after a few minutes the owner just opened the door, letting the dogs out. The driver was surprised that the customer let the dogs out since he could see that the front gate was opened.

"The dogs started jumping on the delivery driver trying to get the food that he was carrying. The driver asked can you get the dogs off of me. The owner paid for his food while the dogs were running up and down the sidewalk and into the street.

"As the delivery driver started walking back towards his van, he heard the owner calling for the dogs to come. Since the dogs were outside of the gate the driver left the gate open so the dogs could get back into the yard.

"The driver rounded the corner and got back into his van and left. Please keep in mind that the van was parked on the side of the house. The driver returned to the store for his next delivery.

"The shift manager received a call from the customer, according to our phone log one hour and forty three minutes after the order was placed, saying that his dog got hit by one of the delivery drivers. The shift manager told the customer, I am sorry, but I will need to have my general manager call you in a few minutes.

"Shortly after that, the general manager spoke to the owner of the dog to find out what happened. She listened patiently as the customer told her what had happened. She asked what kind of dog it was and before she could get any more information, he suddenly got upset with her and said, "You just don’t care do you?" and hung up on her before she could say anything else.

"Unsure what to do she called the police. When my manager spoke to the police officer, the police lady said that they do not write reports on situations where an animal was hit, but did say we can send an officer out to that location if we would like to file a complaint of a dog running around unleashed. If that was the case we would issue a ticket to the owner of the dog (please call the police department to verify this) My manager told the officer that we did not want to file a report.

"I want to give everyone all of information that I have been told. This is from an email I received tonight. I do no know if this is true, but I want to be honest, and let everyone know what I have been told. I am passing this information along to everyone. This was from a neighbor who said that she and her children did see the dog get hit. She did say that it was my delivery driver who hit the dog, and again I am sorry that this did happen, no matter who hit your dog. She also did say in her email that they did believe that this was an unfortunate accident.

"Elicia’s Pizza again, would like to offer our condolences to the owner of the dog. To help heal the pain of our community, Elicia’s Pizza will be contacting the Stray and Rescue organization in Lafayette Square to plan a fundraiser in the owners name to benefit future animals and their needs.

Elicia’s Pizza"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Elicia's Pizza Driver Kills Neighborhood Dog

"The whole thing is so out of control, with Alicia’s Pizza not even offering an apology after their delivery driver ran over our dog," remarks Soulard resident Mal Schwartz, describing the Friday evening - August 21 - accident on the corner of S. 13th Street and Sidney in the Soulard neighborhood.

He and life partner Ed Van Kast, tenants living in a first floor unit in the 1300 block of Sidney, had been regular customers of Alicia’s Pizza, located nearby on Gravois, ordering deliveries every couple of weeks. The peculiar events on Friday ended their relationship with the company.

"Ed ordered a pizza from the company on Friday evening, around 8 to 8:30 p.m. When the delivery driver arrived at our door, our two dogs, Shorty and Groucho, who were inside the house, started barking," Mal relates. Mal describes Shorty as a rescue dog, adopted by the couple through the Humane Society of Franklin County, following flooding in the area over a year ago. "Shorty was a shih tzu, about 10 inches high, weighing in at 21 pounds, according to the vet, and Shorty and Groucho bark when somebody comes to the door. That is natural," he explains. Groucho is a medium sized dog, also probably not weighing over 30 pounds. "These are house pets, not ferocious attack dogs," Mal emphasizes.

Ed kept the dogs inside and went out on the small porch to accept the pizza and to pay the delivery person. "The dogs were inside, and there was never any physical contact between the dogs and the delivery person," Mal observes.

But the whole thing just went downhill, he says. The delivery person was upset and angry, even though Mal gave him a tip. "Ed just wanted to end the whole thing, after accepting the pizza and paying the man, and he turned to go into the house. When he opened the storm door with one hand, juggling the pizza with the other, Shorty bolted. Ed had not noticed that the delivery man had left the gate wide open on the way to his vehicle, which was parked on S. 13th," Mal relates.

"The delivery person was shouting at Ed, and one of his comments was to never call Elicia’s again, among other things," Mal comments. "Anyway, he started up his car and ran through the stop sign, turning west on Sidney. He ran over Shorty, who was excited by the confrontation and was out on the street by this time. Death was instantaneous. The driver slowed, but he did not stop," Mal testifies.

Mal relates that neighbors heard the delivery man shouting. In fact, the neighbor three doors up Sidney had come to her front yard because the delivery driver had attracted her attention by speeding down the alley paralleling Sidney to turn onto S. 13th on his way to the delivery. "Her daughter was having a slumber party and she was out in the back yard and noted that the driver was driving erratically through the alley. From her front yard, she witnessed the whole thing," Mal comments. "He was yelling as he was driving away," he notes.

"Ed was stunned by this turn of events," according to Mal. "He called the police. They did not want to take a report. They said it was just an accident. In fact, they wanted to arrest Ed, since he threw the pizza into the middle of the street. They wanted to arrest him for littering," Mal recounts.

"Animal control was also on the scene. They wanted to remove the body, but Ed told them that he would take care of that," Mal says.

He also called the manager of Elicia’s Pizza. "The manager said that it was not their fault and that we didn’t have our dog under control. He said they had no responsibility, and that it was our problem, not theirs," Mal continues. "There was no apology, no sense of remorse. The manager was rude as hell. As far as I am concerned, Elicia’s Pizza has the worst sense of customer relations of anybody I have ever seen," he concludes.

News of the strange incident has been spread on a Soulard neighborhood e-mail blaster. The response has been overwhelmingly against Elicia’s Pizza. Somebody forwarded the blaster information to Channel 5. Interviews were conducted by Channel 5 KSDK personnel, but the story did not run because Elicia’s said they would take legal action, according to Mal.

A friend of Madame Chouteau called Elicia’s Pizza on Thursday afternoon, August 27 in order to get a comment. The statement received was: "The situation was an accident. The owners of this company are talking to the owners of the dog to try to work this situation out."

Ed and Mal buried Shorty’s remains on a family farm in Waterloo, Il.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Garden Spot Market Occupies Key Niche

Soulard Market shoppers are fortunate to have another first class vendor. Garden Spot Market, a outlet of Rick's Garden Spot Meats, based in Salem, Illinois, has opened inside the main building, right across the aisle from the Soulard Spice Shop. Meats, old time canned goods and other products, plus hot lunches, are all available on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.

Marcus Shupp, one of several family members running the outlet, is extremely enthusiastic to be at the Soulard Market, and he is overjoyed at the reception the shop and its products have received.

He notes that "we have been in the meat processing business for about 14 years. We started out as a custom only processing plant, and we evolved over the years into what we are now - a USDA inspected meat processor."

The benefit to Soulard Market shoppers is that they can purchase meat products which are locally produced. Marcus observes that "the knowledgeable consumer wants to know where their food is coming from and exactly what the animals (for the meat part of our business) have been fed. All of our fresh meats come from small, local farmers. We know each one of them. We can tell you exactly what farm produced what, how the animal was raised and what they were fed."

He adds that "all of our meat is ‘naturally’ raised. No hormones have been used to ‘greenhouse grow’ or to grow them faster and bigger."

He also mentions that "all beef is dry aged for 10 to 14 days to bring out the best flavor. Store bought box meat does not compare to the quality of good, aged steer. Finally, all our pork, lamb and goat are fresh."

Marcus explains that "we are large enough that we can meet the needs of our customers, but we are small enough to care about each individual person and family we come in contact with in the course of providing service."

In addition to meats, honey, pickled dilly corn, maple syrup, salsa, a spectrum of sugar-free jams and many other canned goods are stocked on the store shelves. Marcus mentions that "all of our canned goods are prepared for us by the Amish community in Holmes County, Ohio. All canned goods are of the old fashioned nature, which means that very little or no preservatives are used in the canning process. Simply said, they are prepared just the way our grandparents and earlier generations would have done it, naturally!

"Our maple syrup is tapped and cooked at a small family operated business in central Illinois. The honey is from right here in southern Illinois and is minimally processed - just enough to prevent the product from crystalizing in the jar. The jams and jellies come from the Miller's, a husband/wife operated small business. Once again, they strive to make their products as natural as possible," Marcus states.

He goes on to explain that "our hot lunches are prepared in our inspected facility before being served in our store at Soulard. All meals are prepared fresh each day and in a home style manner. For example, the mashed potatoes that we serve are actual potatoes that we peel, cook and mash to provide in our meals. They are not instant."

Marcus comments that "we also have deli sandwiches available. They are made fresh with your choice of lunch meat and cheese and are sold from our deli case," he says.

"Our business is a family business, and participants include my parents - Rick & Jean, my brother and his wife - Jordan & Jeri, my two sisters - Lucia & Melissa, and my wife Charlou and I," Marcus concludes.

For additional information, visit their web site at or e-mail Marcus at The store is definitely a must visit for Soulard shoppers. Pictured is Marcus displaying some of the meat products and stocking the canned goods shelves.