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Cabbie assaulted, robbed downtown

Driver suffered minor injuries; two suspects arrested for robbery

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2001

A local cab driver, 31, was assaulted and robbed in the city parking lot at Main Street and Egan Drive early Sunday, police said.

Michelle Mariel Gillette, 22, and Richard Scott Carle, 32, were arrested for felony robbery and lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

The cab driver sustained minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital, police said.

Police said they received a report at 12:35 a.m. Sunday that a Metro Taxi driver had been robbed and a man and a woman had left the scene.

Police Capt. Tom Porter said the cab driver, whose name was not released, met with the couple briefly before the alleged assault and robbery took place. Porter said the cab driver knew the woman on a first-name basis but did not know the man.

"At first he didn't think there was going to be a problem," said James Harris, co-owner of Metro Taxi. "But they definitely caught him by surprise. When he saw the situation escalating he tried to radio for help."

Harris alleged Carle grabbed the radio from the cab driver's hand and pulled the microphone out. Police alleged Gillette then hit the driver in the head while Carle choked him and took his money. Both then fled the scene, police said.

Harris said the two allegedly stole about $200.

Police said they later found Gillette and Carle at a home in the Mendenhall Valley. If convicted they could receive a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Harris said working as a taxi driver usually is "pretty safe."

"This is something that shouldn't have happened but this is not something we deal with every day," he said. "Ninety-nine percent of our drivers know what to do and what to look for out there and it's mainly common sense. But ultimately I think we'll all learn something from this."

Melanie Plenda can be reached at mplenda@juneauempire.com.



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