Police look for suspects in cab driver attack in East Austin

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 1 at 12:27 PM

AUSTIN -- Police are looking for several taxi passengers that are accused of attacking a cab driver in East Austin.

Police say there are four known suspects, but none of them are in custody. Now, the victim wants to send a warning to his fellow drivers.

He didn't want to reveal his identity after the attack on January 21.

"Since this happened, I have been very, very weary," the driver said.

He's been a Yellow Cab driver more than 10 years. It's been a good living, he says, until now.

"Since that episode, it has not been easy," he said.

Just after 2 a.m., he stopped to pick up passengers in the 1900 block of Maple Avenue in East Austin.

"They said they were going to Springdale. [They asked] 'How much will it cost?'" he said.

The driver says a woman got in the front seat. The others opened the back doors and started to look around.

"At this time, I was suspicious that something was happening, you know?" the driver said.

He continued asking for an exact address. That's when they started punching him on the right side of his head, injuring his ear.

"My ear was badly, badly, badly bruised. It was swollen," he said.

During the struggle, the transmission slipped into neutral and started to roll into a nearby yard.
That's when the suspects ran off.

The cab driver says he has already had two surgeries on his ear. He's back at work, but says it's hardly the same.

"I'm always looking over my shoulder," he said.

He told KVUE he's never turned anyone away from his cab, and other than a few unruly passengers or jumped fares, he's never had trouble. He says he knows to trust his instincts.

"I had the feelings that night when I saw the four of them," he said.

With four violent criminals on the loose, he hopes his fellow cab drivers will do the same.

"We all should be watching our backs," he said. "Be careful who you pick up."

He says next time, he won't press his luck.

Police say they have a warrant out for Niresha Deloach, the woman who got in the front seat.
They expect to file charges on the other three this week.
 

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