CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- "I wasn’t going down easy," Napoleon Cab driver David said about his late-night run-in with a passenger who robbed him with a knife. The driver said he didn’t really feel uncomfortable when he picked up the teenage passenger at a 7-11 store on Hull Street late Monday night.
He said the teen did not say much at all when he first got into the cab, but as they neared the subdivision where he wanted to be dropped off, he told the driver he only had a large bill with which to pay.
David said he agreed to allow the teen to pay with the large bill and that is when things turned violent. David said the teen pulled the knife on him and demanded money. The teenager robbed the driver at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, near the intersection of Rollingway Road and Rollingway Court, police said.
"Fight or flight kicked in. I guess I chose a little of both. I said 'are you serious?' I got out of the car because I wasn’t about to be in the car in close quarters with someone who had a weapon," David said.
He said he got into a fist fight with the teen and his money began spilling out onto the ground. After the suspect ran off, David said Chesterfield Police were there in minutes. Police said they briefly searched for the teen and found him nearby. He was located within minutes, according to the driver.
The teenage suspect lives in the neighborhood where the crime occurred near Qualla and Courthouse Roads. Police used K9s and a helicopter to search for the teenager.
Darlene Cortinas’ lives feet from where the robbery took place.
"I was shocked because this has always been a good neighborhood," she said. "It’s scary. I don’t really know what to say. I’m kind of shocked, but I am glad that they caught him."
David’s managers at Napoleon Cab company said they were impressed at how David handled himself. They said he’s been a great worker for the year or so that he’s been working for the company. They said David has earned driver of the month a few times and say he’s a dedicated worker.
They said the surveillance video captured in his vehicle will be a great tool for them as they prosecute this armed robbery case.
"I hope other drivers can take solace in knowing that police caught him and did it so quickly," he said. "I hope they will use caution. You want to stay safe and take precautions but things do happen."
He emphasized he won’t allow this incident to keep him from his job.