Cab driver escapes robbery after being shot in back

Published: Mar. 15, 2012 at 2:49 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2012 at 12:08 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - According to North Charleston police, a driver for North Area Taxi Company was held up by three men last Thursday night on Gary Drive.

The driver told officers he was responding to a dispatch call to 4041 Gary Drive when a young man flagged him down a few houses before his stop. He said he thought the man was the one he was scheduled to pick up. When he stopped, he said two other men came out of nowhere and pointed guns at him.

"Then they just swung the door open, stuck the gun out and said give it up! I dove to the right, hit the gas and pow pow pow!" said the victim, who asked not to be identified.

One of bullets went through the back windshield, through his seat and into his back.  He kept driving until he reached a gas station on Dorchester Road that he stops at frequently.

"I've seen police there before so that's where I headed," the victim said.

Once he arrived, an ambulance arrived and rushed him to MUSC. Doctors were unable to remove the bullet saying it would be too dangerous. The victim said part of his lung was punctured, but he is expected to be OK. In fact, he wants to be back in the driver's seat of his cab by the end of the week.

"God is my co-pilot, so I'm not scared to go back to work," he said.

The victim's cab wasn't equipped with any safety features like a panic button or GPS. His manage, Daniel Strictland, said cab drivers for North Area Taxi Company are independent contractors and tough economic times makes it hard to equip vehicles the way they would like.

"They own their own vehicles and based on the fares and based on the cost to do business, its not affordable," Strictland said.

The victim said even now looking back, he would have done everything the same if he was given another chance.

"When you're staring down the barrel of a gun, it's better to be on the offensive instead of the defensive," he said.

North Charleston police are still investigating the incident. They are looking for three suspects. If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

Copyright WCSC 2012. All rights reserved.