By Kevin Deutsch
Detectives are searching for a man who held a taxicab driver at gunpoint in North Lauderdale after refusing to pay his fare on July 4, authorities said.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office Office, Violent Crimes Unit is asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating the armed robber, who gave his name as “James” when the driver picked him up near the 7800 block of Southwest 8th Street around 1:30 a.m., according to BSO.
Once the passenger was inside the cab, the driver drove off and explained that full payment of the cab fare was required before drop-off. At that point, the passenger became irate, demanded another cab, and pulled a gun on the driver, authorities said.
Surveillance video from inside the taxicab showed the driver calling for a second cab and asking the passenger to wait outside. The passenger refused to leave the car and demanded the driver return him to the original pickup spot, according to BSO.
A few minutes later, security footage showed the driver with his hands held up, begging for his life, authorities said. The victim told the gunman, “Please, don’t kill me,” before crashing into a parked car, the video showed.
The cab driver then returned to the original pick-up spot, and the gunman got out without paying his fare, according to BSO.
Investigators ask anyone with information about the gunman’s identity and location to call BSO Det. Lacey Fitzpatrick at 954-321-4328 or to submit a tip through the SaferWatch App.
If a tipster wants to remain anonymous, they can contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477), submit a tip online at browardcrimestoppers.org, or dial **TIPS (8477) from any cellphone in the U.S.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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