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Posted at 2:40 PM ET, 04/15/2010

IHOP not liable for teen's death

By Washington Post editors

The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that a restaurant isn't responsible for compensating the family of a customer who left without paying and was shot to death by an Alexandria policeman.

The justices determined Thursday that Carl Stowe was acting as a police officer, not a restaurant employee, when he shot 18-year-old Aaron Brown outside an International House of Pancakes in 2006.

Stowe moonlighted as a security officer at the IHOP under an agreement with the restaurant and the police department. After Brown and some friends dined and dashed, Stowe tried to stop them. He said he opened fire when their vehicle tried to run him down in the parking lot.

The city settled a civil case for $1.1 million and filed suit seeking half from the restaurant. The justices said IHOP doesn't have to pay.

-- Associated Press

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By Washington Post editors  | April 15, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
Tags:  Aaron Brown, IHOP, Law Enforcement, Police, Police officer  
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Comments

What an outrage. $5.43 worth of crap breakfast and a trigger happy cop. Surprised this one wasn't in PG....

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | April 15, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying he should have killed him, but I understand!

Posted by: Special_One40 | April 15, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The only outrage here is that the city agreed to pay anything! The kid was a THIEF and attempted to kill the cop by vehicular manslaughter! So why didn't the brat pay his bill as any law abiding citizen would do? Sometimes justice is swift!

Posted by: Ken430TX | April 15, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Brown had paid for his breakfast (like any normal person), he might be alive right now. His death is his own stupid fault. The city shouldn't have to pay either.

Posted by: ms1234 | April 15, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Guess he should have thought of that before he dashed.

Posted by: WPReaderID | April 15, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

He died while doing something stupid. What a shame. He could have discovered the cure for AIDS/cancer/stupidity/thuggery. Boo hoo. I feel soooo bad for his Moms.

Didn't feel like paying. So why go into the restaurant, knucklehead? To be a cool, slick hustler. Only suckers pick up the check & pay it.

Some peeps ain't got no problem running police down just to get away with not paying for their Grand Slam breakfast.

Posted by: uncivil | April 15, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

He died while doing something stupid. What a shame. He could have discovered the cure for AIDS/cancer/stupidity/thuggery. Boo hoo. I feel soooo bad for his Moms.

Didn't feel like paying. So why go into the restaurant, knucklehead? To be a cool, slick hustler. Only suckers pick up the check & pay it.

Some peeps ain't got no problem running police down just to get away with not paying for their Grand Slam breakfast.

Posted by: uncivil | April 15, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The cop said he shot the kid because the kid tried to run the officer down with his car. How many times has this happened? A lot. Why is the city settling a civil law suit in this case? Either the officer acted properly or not. This makes it seem as if the officer acted improperly. And why did the city think IHOP should pay anything toward the settlement?

Posted by: Jimof1913 | April 15, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

He died while doing something stupid. What a shame. He could have gone on to discover the cure for AIDS/cancer/stupidity/thuggery. Boo hoo. Mean policeman. Always so quick to shoot these fine, upstanding, intelligent, hard working, Christian young men.

I feel soooo bad for his Moms. Dag, y'all. Double Dag. Triple Dag with a cherry on top.

Didn't feel like paying. So why go into the restaurant, knucklehead? To be a cool, slick hustler. Only suckers pick up the check & pay it.

Some peeps ain't got no problem running police down just to get away with not paying for their Grand Slam breakfast.

Posted by: uncivil | April 15, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Love how the kid's parents call the teens "innocent passengers." Skipping out on a bill and failing to stop as directed by a police officer are crimes...what exactly do they think innocent means?

Posted by: itsme1 | April 15, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

That's crazy the young man that killed by the police, was sitting in the back seat of the car that tried to get away. The city should pay. why didn't he shoot the driver or the passenger? all of this for a $26 bill.

Posted by: kw0528 | April 15, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

If a Cop Steps into the path of a moving vehicle, I'm not sure that the cop then gets to claim that the driver tried to "run him down".

Stealing food is a crime, but it was most certainly the police who made it a life and death situation.

If the police weren't there and hadn't acted the way they did, nobody would be dead.

When did we decide that disobeying a cop or even possibly trying to "run a cop down" warrants deadly force by the police?

Posted by: JoeMck | April 15, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with anyone trying to run me down. Sounds like fun!

This would have never happened at Denny's.

It seems to me young people are getting stupider & stupider. I guess that's what happens when babies have babies.

Posted by: uncivil | April 15, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

The city likely settled because they felt there was a good chance they would lose more if the case went to trial. Obviously, there are some facts we do not know that led to that decision.

Because of the "partnership" with IHOP, they were trying to get IHOP to pay part of the loss.

Posted by: ceebee2 | April 15, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

attempted vehicular manslaughter for the kid, the city shouldnt have settled that lawsuit with the family, you feel for the kids family, but he was the one that triggered the sequence of events that lead to his death

Posted by: destewar | April 15, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

While I do not think the family deserves a million dollars, I am worried about the humanity of so many readers that can make cynical comments about the death of any teenager. This entire story is a sad commentary on a gun-happy lawyer-happy nation. All other developed countries have safer and more civil interactions without so many guns or lawyers.

Posted by: Independent50 | April 15, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

While I do not think the family deserves a million dollars, I am worried about the humanity of so many readers that can make cynical comments about the death of any teenager. This entire story is a sad commentary on a gun-happy lawyer-happy nation. All other developed countries have safer and more civil interactions without so many guns or lawyers.

Posted by: Independent50 | April 15, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Those aged 18-20 are also adults and not "kids" or "teens", meaning they shouldn't be called those words. The writer of this article broke that rule by calling the young man who was murdered a "teen". This article should've been titled "IHOP not liable for young man's death". Although the young man went to IHOP without paying and fled, that doesn't justify the police officer murdering him. However, it's good that Alexandria had to pay $1.1 million for the family of the young man. Police brutality must never go unpunished.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | April 15, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I was a Juvenile Probation Officer in Fairfax County 10 years ago. I was also that young mans neighbor for 15 years. He went to get food with some people he didn't know that well, got caught up in a dash and dine situation, got in the back seat of a car and got shot and killed. I don't blame the cop. I blame the driver that pulled into the cops direction causing the cop to shoot, and unfortunately miss his target, the driver. That's why the city settled. He was literally one of the nicest young men In the neighborhood. Always waved to cars as they passed. Just a good kid who made a mistake. Trust me when I tell you Its a tragedy. I dined and dashed as a kid. Didn't you guys do something stupid once. He didn't deserve to die.

Posted by: Roscoe9 | April 15, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't think IHOP or the city are liable. But I do hope that young people learn something from this tragedy. This poor kid's family has to live with this, all for him trying to skip a bill.

Posted by: brandip_77 | April 16, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

@Roscoe9: If you are true to your word then why didn't the parents sue the driver who tried to run over the policeman who tried to arrest them??

Posted by: elle1 | April 16, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Whoa - he didn't shoot the punks over a $5 meal - the article clearly says they tried to run him down with their car. Sorry - I think the officer was acting in self defense.

Posted by: mwcob | April 16, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Either way, he certainly paid for his meal.

Posted by: harrydean | April 16, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Its sad this young man's life was ended over a meal. Why couldn't the officer out the tires instead. Not to mention the dead person was NOT the driver but a passenger in the back seat. However, who knows that the officer was telling the TRUTH about the circumstances. Just look at the officers involved in the beating of UMD students. The students supposedly attacked the police, however, the video proves otherwise. In this paper TODAY, an officer says he was carjacked in Baltimore and now he's changed his story. Just because you are a police officer doesn't mean that you can violate citizens rights either. To much DEADLY FORCE is used and the police always say they're justified. Need to screen officers more closely and repeatedly for ABUSE OF POWER.

Posted by: pbell2 | April 16, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

If I were an officer and someone tried to run me down with a vehicle, I would have shot at them too. I don't understand how some people fault the cop in this tragic incident.

Posted by: Fontana1 | April 16, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

That kid got what he deserved. A bit harsh? Maybe. But the kid ultimately got punished for doing something wrong. If parents would just instill in their kids that stealing is wrong, maybe a teenager can be saved.

Posted by: RightWinger1 | April 16, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Ok. The kid was with other friends. They did not pay the check. Got into the car and drove off. The kid that was shot was in the back seat obviously not driving the car.

Posted by: kbalimtas | April 16, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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