Riverside County deputies responded to a report of an assault last Wednesday at about 2:45 a.m. at the intersection of Cornell Street and East Johnston Avenue. Investigators say they found a female cab driver in her 60s at the scene with severe head injuries.
Authorities say the driver picked up the three men from a convenience store at the intersection of Florida Avenue and North Inez Street. They requested to be driven to eastern Hemet. When the driver pulled up to the destination, the three men robbed her and beat her with a collapsible, two-wheel metal scooter.
After the attack, all three of them fled on foot, leaving the injured driver. She was later transported to a local hospital and admitted to intensive care following surgery.
"They leaned forward to smack and I remember like three or four hits after that, and next thing I know I'm looking for a phone so I can call to get help," the cab driver, Cheryl Hobbs, said Wednesday. "I'm laying on my horn in the car, and yelling out the door for help and nobody's coming out."
After investigators gathered evidence from the convenience store, they headed to a residence on the 41000 block of Sunset Lane, about a block from the scene of the assault. The three suspects, identified as 21-year-old Marquis White, 19-year-old Leroy Quintana and 21-year-old Robert Norton, were found at the home. Authorities found the scooter in the backyard of a home nearby.
The three have been charged with kidnap for ransom, torture, aggravated mayhem and robbery. They are in custody with bail set at $3 million each.
"Hemet used to be a wonderful place to live, you don't even want to walk out on the street at night anymore, it's gotten that bad," said Hobbs. "After this I'm done driving a cab. Once was enough, I'm not even going to think about taking a second shot."
If you have any information about this incident, you're urged to contact Hemet authorities at (951) 971-3400.
Correction: In an earlier version of the story, we stated the bail amount as $3,000. The actual amount is $3 million each.