Skip to comments.Police: Man demands money, sets taxicab on fire, dies
Posted on 08/19/2012 10:25:20 AM PDT by null and void
Police say a passenger set a taxicab on fire during a robbery attempt and died in the blaze.
On a small section of Northview Drive in Bowie, blackened and charred car parts are scattered about. The road is slightly buckled; there are orange markings everywhere.
The remains of a failed attempted taxicab robbery that ended in flames.
"I thought he was a robber, but immediately, I got it out of his control," said the 63-year old cab driver, who spoke with ABC7 News on the condition his name not be used.
Bowie Police say around 4:50 Friday afternoon, a detective spotted the cab on fire. The driver, a seven year veteran of the taxi business, told officers he had picked up a male fare from the Largo metro station and brought him to the 4200 Block of Northview Drive.
Before that, he says, there were warning signs.
"He's drinking the spirit," the driver said. "Alcohol."
The victims says the passenger, drinking and smoking in the back seat, first hedged and then became angered about a $34 fare.
The driver explained the passenger then grabbed him from behind in a headlock, hissing 'Give me your money', and then deliberately set the cab on fire after dousing the back seat area with alcohol.
"He is starting to put down the spirit, and he lit it... the liquor," recalled the driver.
"He doesn't know if it was a lighter or matches," added Isidora Asuquo, a fellow independent cab driver, and a friend.
The driver with his hair in flames escaped the vehicle, but the passenger did not.
One officer told the driver that rubber seals in the car's doors had melted, possibly trapping the would-be robber inside.
Witnesses came to the driver's aid, helping to put out the flames on his head. Firefighters found the passenger inside dead. His body was burned beyond recognition.
"I guess he was drunk and couldn't make his way out like the driver did," Asuquo said. The driver credits a glass divider he brought after an earlier robbery with saving his life, not only from a second robbery, but also from smoke and flames that began filling the cab.
"I kicked the door open and immediately fell down on the road," he recalled.
On Saturday, other taxi drivers got together to sign a get-well card and discuss safety on the road.
"We're kind of like a family," said Leron Allen. "This is a sad moment when one of us gets hurt or injured. We have to look out for each other."
Authorities have not yet identified the passenger.
The driver, whose cab is now a whitened, charred shell, said the flames were 25 feet high.
Now recovering at home, his head shaved, he appeared shaken, but glad to be alive.
He told ABC7 what happened won't stop him from getting behind the wheel of a cab again.
"Now, I'm okay," he said. "God has given me a goodly chance. He gave me a miracle for my life."
...taxis are dangerous for passengers. They should be banned...
You have to believe that God somehow looked down on this whole incident, and made sure that the driver got safely away. I feel sorry for the dimwit....but I don’t think he was meant to live long on this Earth.
Never heard this. It just a few miles from me in the same Maryland county.
what the heck was he drinking?
Hot fun in the summertime...
Death Cab For Lootie.
High test petrol.
Two steps gonna handle them all,
Dance with both my shoes,
When they play the jelly roll blues,
Tomorrow night at the darktown strutter's ball.
Everclear, from the sound of it. Highly flammable, 150 proof if I’m not mistaken. We used to light off the empties in college when making PJ. Thwooomp, blue flame shooting three feet out of the bottle.
The article didnt say.
On the bright side, it cut down in the case jile.
The driver installed a glass divider window yet the passenger was able to get a choke hold on him?
Anybody notice an odd inconsistency here? Is this simply bad reporting by a typical low-IQ "journalist"?
Although it is poor reportage, I’m guessing that the driver opened the divider to get paid and slammed it shut after the fire started (and the flaming perp let go of his throat).
Lots of cab glass dividers have a small opening in them for passing money, that can be left open or closed by the driver. Could be big enough to get some arm through. Figure he got out of the headlock so it wasn’t really a very “good” headlock.
The whole story sounds fishy.
This is a rare case of criminal, judge, jury, and executioner all wrapped into one. I like it.
Fire should be taxed, regulated....or else only criminals will have fire.
The perp died and saved the world the trouble of incarcerating his sorry carcass? Good.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
It’s fare to say he made a fuel of himself.
(...made an ash of himself...?)
The Everclear in my cupboard is 190 proof, but that’s just because I bought it here in Ohio. Real Everclear is 200 proof, 100% ethanol.
It’s a great solvent, and it’s good for making ice cream because it keeps the mixture from freezing solid.
It’s a certainty.
I refuse to testify on the ground i might incinerate me.