Columbus cab driver robbed at gunpoint speaks

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  "I was afraid. It was terrible. I don't want anyone else to have to go through something like that. It's crazy."

It started out as just another day at work but for 37-year-old John, a driver for Gold Star Taxi Service in Columbus, it ended up with him counting his blessings.

For his safety, he asked us to blur out his face and use only his first name.

Last night, he says he picked up two men at an apartment complex on Matthews Street on the city's south side, not far off Fort Benning Road.

As soon as the men got in his cab, John knew something wasn't quite right. At first they said they were soldiers who wanted to go to Fort Benning but then they kept changing the location of their destination. Before he could react, it was too late.

"They actually pointed the gun at the back of my head and asked me to give them everything I have. I gave them all my money, my two cell phones and also, they took my radio," John said.

After he handed over the items, John says the men jumped out of the cab and ran away.

In recent months, cabbies have reported being robbed and even shot at by customers on the streets of Columbus.

John's company, Gold Star, was in the news when they lost one of their own. Jack Horne was robbed and murdered in 2006.

"This is the risk we have to live everyday unfortunately as a cab driver but I have to take some precautions. They're dangerous out there. I don't want any other cab drivers being robbed like they did me. I wouldn't be standing here giving you and interview if it had taken a different turn but I'm glad I'm still alive," he added.

Now, the search is on for John's alleged attackers who he describes as two black men between the ages of 17 and 19.

The owner of Gold Star Taxi Service, Jerry Halicki, tells WTVM for safety reasons his drivers do not keep large sums of money on them while their on the job- just enough to make change.

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