KANSAS CITY – Two Kansas City men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a series of local armed robberies following a head-on collision with a police vehicle in a Quik Trip parking lot while attempting to flee from officers, according to Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
Curlie Pruitt, III, 36, and Roy L. House, 38, both of Kansas City, were charged in a three-count indictment returned on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. The indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Pruitt and House on Dec. 22, 2016.
The federal indictment contains the original charge of being felons in possession of a firearm, and includes an additional count of conspiracy to commit robbery and an additional count of aiding and abetting one another in the use of a firearm during a violent crime.
The indictment alleges that Pruitt and House aided and abetted one another to possess a loaded American Tactical .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun on Dec. 20, 2016. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Pruitt has prior felony convictions for assault and robbery, as well as a prior federal conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. House has prior convictions for assault and robbery as well as a federal conviction for carjacking. House is currently serving a term of supervised release for that federal conviction.
The indictment also alleges that Pruitt and House participated in a conspiracy to rob Road Star Gas Station, 11100 E. US 40 Hwy., Independence, Mo.; Beeline Mini-Mart, 1005 Isley Blvd., Excelsior Springs, Mo.; and Discount Smoke Shop, 4718 N.E. Vivion Rd., Kansas City, Mo. Pruitt and House also are charged with using the loaded American Tactical handgun during those robberies.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Independence police officers were contacted by an employee at the Super 8 Hotel, 4031 S. Lynn Court Drive, Independence, at approximately 8:36 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, in regard to two men – later identified as Pruitt and House – who were acting suspiciously. The employee feared the men were going to rob the hotel, the affidavit says. They left the hotel but returned at approximately 9:05 p.m.
When officers arrived at the hotel, the affidavit says, Pruitt and House were in a blue Ford 500 and were leaving the area, with Pruitt driving. A police officer activated the emergency equipment on his patrol vehicle to initiate a traffic stop, however, Pruitt allegedly accelerated the vehicle and drove through the parking lot of the Quik Trip at 4024 S. Noland Road, Independence. As Pruitt’s vehicle continued at a high rate of speed through the parking lot, traveling toward S. Noland Road, it collided head-on with the patrol vehicle of another officer who was responding to assist. The collision was severe enough to disable both vehicles.
Pruitt immediately attempted to exit his vehicle and flee, the affidavit says, but was trapped by a third police vehicle that pinned the driver’s side door closed. Pruitt and House were placed under arrest. Officers found a loaded American Tactical .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun on the floor board of the front passenger seat area.