Passenger allegedly attacks taxi driver

CITY TERRACE The cab driver told the police that the incident happened at the intersection of Lancaster and Soto Street in City Terrace, less than a half-mile from the crash site.

Click in the Eyewitness News story window above to watch Lisa Hernandez's report.

Police say it all began when two women hailed a taxi to Ramona Gardens around 1 a.m. Tuesday. What appeared to be just another fare to the driver, was instead a planned robbery waiting to happen.

Police say the teen girls riding in the back had orchestrated a robbery. They planned to take the taxi just a couple of blocks away where a male accomplice would be waiting to carry out the crime on the cab driver.

"The women inside the car they were picked up. They were asked to be taken to the area where the cab driver had stopped, where he was attempted to be carjacked or robbed, we're not really sure at this time. We do know that a lone male walked up to the car with a gun in hand and asked for his property," said Det. Dwayne Fields, LAPD.

The cab driver then hit the gas and sped away with the two teen girls still in the back seat. He later told police that he was being followed by another accomplice as he tried to get away.

The cab driver was far from safety. Police say one of the women then attacked the driver with a knife or box cutter, slashing his face while he was driving.

He lost control of the taxi and crashed a half-mile away at the intersection of Medford and Ditman.

The impact of the crash was so violent the two teens in the back were thrown from the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries.

"There is a pole and a cement rail. It looks like he lost control at about the railroad tracks. The cab driver was not ejected. The two female passengers were," said Det. Fields.

The driver was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.


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