Lethbridge taxi driver robbed at knife-point says things have to change
A Lethbridge cab driver who was assaulted and robbed by two passengers Monday said with recent crime and drug use in the city, all drivers are feeling unsafe.
LETHBRIDGE — A 68-year-old Lethbridge taxi driver is vowing to be “a whole lot more careful from now on” after being assaulted and robbed Monday by two women.
The driver agreed to speak to CTV News on the condition that his name, and the company he works for, not be made public.
Two women are facing charges, including robbery, theft, assault with a weapon, and uttering threats in connection with the incident, which occurred around 7:30 a.m. Monday.
The taxi driver was dispatched to a 7-Eleven at 541-13th Street North to pick up a customer. He said when he got there two women got into the cab, and their faces were covered.
“My first thought was okay, let’s get these people warm, when my first concern should have been uncover your face before you get into my car,” he said.
Once they started driving, the woman in the front seat pulled out a six-inch hunting knife, and said her companion in the back was armed with a gun.
The cab driver said what immediately came to mind was that he needed to stop the car, and get it in park, because that would unlock the doors.
“As soon as the doors were unlocked the driver’s door was open, and my left foot was out the door.”
The taxi driver said the women told him “you’re not getting out of here” and did their best to restrain him.
“And I did my best to get out of there, like now.”
Empty taxi found in alley
The driver suffered cuts and bruises to his nose, cheek and mouth, but managed to escape. The two women drove off in the cab, with his cellphone, tablet and cash.
The taxi driver said he waved down a passing vehicle and was given a ride to the nearby Tim Hortons restaurant on Mildred Dobbs Boulevard, where he was able to flag down a police car.
He said the Good Samaritan who stopped to help was the first of many “angels” he encountered that day.
“He said, ‘I’ve been called a lot of things, but never called an angel,’ and I said, ‘Well today sir, you are one.’”
He said the police officers, paramedics and victim services volunteers all went above and beyond, and demonstrated the “loving, caring and compassionate” side of human nature.
Police said the stolen cab was located unoccupied in a northside alley. Officers followed two sets of footprints to a residence along the 2000 block of 13 Avenue North. One suspect was identified and arrested a short time later. The second was located and arrested near Fifth Avenue and Mayor Magrath Drive North.
The cellphone, tablet and cash were also recovered.
Kimberlie Rose Eagle Speaker, 31, and Jessica Mae Eagle Speaker, 38, of Lethbridge have both been charged in the robbery and assault.
The driver, who has been driving taxis in Lethbridge for about 20 years, said with recent crime and drug use in the city, all drivers are feeling unsafe.
“People in the community are just outraged, and this has got to stop,” he said.