NEW Westminster Police announced on Friday that Kaeden Hnatiw, 27, of New Westminster has been charged with one count of robbery and one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle in connection with Wednesday’s incident in which a taxi was driving erratically in the uptown neighbourhood after it had been allegedly stolen.
The taxi struck several vehicles, but there were no serious injuries reported.
A Royal City Taxi supervisor, Amrik Mahil, told The VOICE on Thursday that the suspect approached the cabbie and asked him if he was free and the driver replied that he was. The man then walked away, but returned a few minutes later and suddenly started forcing the cabbie out of the vehicle. In the struggle that ensued, the vehicle’s door hit the cabbie’s chest and he fell down, suffering injuries.
The cabbie cried out,” Robbery! Robbery!” and someone called 911 as the suspect sped off in the stolen taxi, said Mahil.
“Thanks again to public for their patience as we understand this was a significant disruption to the neighbourhood,” said Sgt. Andrew Leaver. “This individual was safely taken into custody thanks to the excellent work our front line officers and we are thankful nobody was seriously injured.”
At this time, the suspect remains in custody. The New Westminster Police Department said it appreciates this incident may have been upsetting for people to witness. If you need the support of its Victim Assistance Unit members, you can speak with them at 604-529-2525.
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