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A livery cab driver jumped out of his car in Astoria after he was stabbed repeatedly by a passenger late Friday night, less than a day after another driver had been tied up and tossed from his vehicle by assailants who fled in his cab, police said.
Isaias Salgado, 22, of 31-24 106th St. in East Elmhurst, was arrested minutes after he allegedly stabbed his driver, 40-year-old Segundo Torres, five times with a knife around 11:40 p.m. Friday, police said.
He was charged with multiple counts of robbery and assault as well as criminal possession of a weapon, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens District Attorneys office.
Torres picked up Salgado around 11 p.m. at 37-25 94th St. in Jackson Heights and drove him to his home when Salgado asked to be taken instead to the corner of 77th Street and 19th Road, police said.
But instead of pulling out his wallet after asking how much he owed, Salgado allegedly stabbed Torres four times in the back and once in the chest, puncturing his lung, police said.
Torres jumped out of the car while Salgado allegedly leaped into the front seat, driving it a few feet before crashing into a fence, police said.
Police eventually caught him hiding under a nearby dumpster.
Torres was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center following the assault. He was released Tuesday, a hospital spokesman said.
Livery drivers are required by law to have either a camera or a protective partition installed in their cabs, and Torress vehicle was equipped only with a camera, according to Fernando Mateo, the president of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.
I believe that a partition is certainly more important than a camera, Mateo said. Its unfortunate that the law allows them to select whatever they want.
Mateo said his group is installing tracking devices in 1,200 cabs with a $1 million state assembly grant, which would enable drivers to send distress signals that allow cops to immediately track them down.
If this driver would have had it, he probably wouldnt have been stabbed, Mateo said.
Just past midnight the previous evening, another livery driver was pushed out of his car in Maspeth after being tied up in a robbery, police said.
The 21-year-old driver had driven three passengers from 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue to 33rd Street and Queens Boulevard when one of them, a black man in his 20s, pulled out a knife and announced a robbery, police said.
A white 13-year-old passenger tied the driver up while a third accomplice, a black woman in her 20s who wielded a gun, drove the car to 43rd Street and 54th Road, where they pushed him out of the car.
The suspects fled in the vehicle, and the driver was not injured, police said. No arrests were made and the incident was still under investigation.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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