It may look like a simple “selfie.” The backstory, though, is nothing short of terrifying.
Now, the man in the picture is headed to prison for his crimes.
A young woman, R.T., was simply walking to the bus stop to go to work when she heard someone running behind her. Eric Strong put a gun to her head and demanded her belongings. He threatened to “blow her head off” if she looked at him.
A good Samaritan nearby heard R.T.’s screams and attempted to intervene as Strong ran from the scene. Strong also flashed his gun at the man and made threats.
That same day, police tracked the victim’s cell phone to a home in the 4100 block of Penrose.
Police found Strong hiding in the attic, holding the victim’s phone.
In the meantime, Strong had snapped a “selfie” on the stolen phone.
Strong is a prior and persistent criminal offender, convicted of four other felony charges including stealing and burglary. He was on parole at the time he robbed R.T.
“The defendant has a long history of stealing, which, over time, has become increasingly aggressive,” Assistant Circuit Attorney Jennifer Szczucinski wrote in court documents. “His previous two stints in prison clearly did not send a message that his behavior is unacceptable.”
R.T. was traumatized by what happened to her and has since moved out of the St. Louis area.
ACA Szczucinski recommended that Strong serve 25 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
This week, Strong was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison.