Robber Pleads Guilty to Beating Clerk at Central West End Ice Cream Shop


An ex-con has pleaded guilty to a felony after busting an ice cream shop employee's nose in a brutal robbery.

Rodney Gardner, 52, of St. Louis was arrested in March following the attack at the Central West End location of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (389 Euclid Avenue, 314-367-1700.) Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office say he had posed as customer before ordering employees to hand over the cash register.

Gardner punched one worker, identified only by her initials in court papers, repeatedly in the face. He broke the woman's nose, grabbed the cash register and bolted out of the store, only to be chased down by city police officers and arrested.

Gardner has a previous robbery conviction in state court and was sentenced in 1999 to sixteen years in prison.

He pleaded guilty today in federal court to interfering with state commerce. He faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.