UPDATED 3 p.m. with mug shot.
ST. LOUIS • A Metro East man has been charged in a wild crime spree that began Saturday night when he commandeered a car at knifepoint from a motorist near the Barnes-Jewish Hospital campus, authorities say.
That touched off a flurry of crimes by the same man that included four stolen cars, three car crashes and a gas station robbery, police say.
Norman Lee Tammons, 31, of Centreville, was charged Monday in St. Louis with several robberies, stealing a motor vehicle, third-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident and armed criminal action.
It started at about 8:10 p.m. Saturday in the 4900 block of Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza, police say.
Court records and a police summary give the following account:
Tammons walked up behind a man in a 2008 Honda CRV in the 4900 block of Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza, just south of the hospital complex. He pulled a knife and said, "Give me your car." Tammons tried to pull the driver out of the car. The men struggled, then Tammons jumped in the car and drove away, according to police.
As Tammons sped away, he crashed the CRV into a divider on the exit ramp on Highway 40 (Interstate 64) at Hampton Avenue. He jumped out of the wrecked car and spotted a 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage that was waiting at a stop light.
Tammons opened the driver's door of the Mirage and yelled at the driver to give him the car. He pulled the driver out of the car and drove off — but crashed the Mirage a short distance away, at Hampton and Wilson avenues, police say.
After this second car crash, Tammons ran toward a gas station in the 2100 block of Hampton Avenue. He confronted a man on the parking lot and told him he had a gun and wanted his car. The man ran off, leaving his car behind.
Tammons got into that car, a 1998 Chevrolet Blazer, but didn't stay long. He jumped out and ran into the Circle K gas station. He pushed a clerk behind the counter and grabbed money from the cash register, police say.
Tammons also swiped the clerk's keys to a 1999 Ford Taurus. He drove off in the Taurus but crashed into an object a short time later at Hampton Avenue and Juniata Street, police say. He was taken into custody after that crash and was taken to a hospital, police say.
At-large warrants were issued Monday, but jail records show that Tammons was in custody Tuesday morning.