A police officer was in the perfect spot when a man tried to rob a cab driver. This happened in Reading, Pennsylvania, in March 2016.
Deputy Terry Ely noticed that the cab in front of him didn’t move forward when the light turned green while his patrol car was stopped at a red light. After the traffic light changed to red, Ely got out of his vehicle to see what was happening.
“I stood in the back to try and hear the conversation ahead of time, so I knew what I was getting myself into,” Ely told WFMZ-TV. “At that point, I heard the driver say, “Just please don’t shoot me.”
Victor Martinez-Herrera, 18 years old at the time of the incident, had what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money from the taxi driver.
“Give me all your money, man! Give me everything you got,” the suspect demanded. “I need it all right now if you don’t want to die.”
The driver, Ralph Valletta, handed the suspect a whopping $11. Deputy Ely arrested Martinez-Herrera, and police later learned the weapon was a pellet gun.
The cab driver told the deputy, “Oh my God, you’re a lifesaver,”
Martinez-Herrera faced criminal charges, including robbery, terroristic threats, and simple assault.
When your rider gets in with a hoodie and mask pulled as tight as possible, that is a HUGE red flag. If I were the cab driver, I would not have left him in the car to begin with. That is terrible situational awareness on the driver’s part.
The cabbie was in a bad spot with few options since the attacker was behind him. Being attacked from behind is difficult to defend against, and the driver should have kept the pass-through shut.
Rideshare drivers being robbed is on the rise, and there have been multiple cases where they have successfully defended themselves. Still, it’s not a position I would want to be in.
It’s not like a criminal will listen, but keep your finger off the trigger when you’re waving that damn gun around.