Crime

Three men carjack cab in Miami and beat up driver

Miami

A Super Yellow Cab driver was beaten and ripped off by three men who commandeered his taxi before being captured after a brief police chase.

Cab driver Heberto Fletes suffered minor injuries. Two of the men were captured after driving the cab into a dead-end street while being chased by police. Police on Monday searched for a third man, who they believe fled the cab before it was cornered.

“They start giving him directions. Moments later they attack, punch and choke him,” Miami police Detective Rene Pimentel said.

Police said the confrontation began at 4:15 a.m. Monday, when the cabbie was dispatched to Southwest Eighth Avenue and Eighth Street. No one was there. Fletes phoned the number left by the callers and was told to keep driving down the street. Two blocks later at Northwest 10th Avenue, three men waved at the cabbie and he pulled over.

Two men got into the back, another in the front. Fletes said he drove about eight blocks when one of the men said to another, “ponlos a dormir” or “put him to sleep.” Then the man behind the driver’s seat put Fletes in a chokehold while the man in the front passenger seat punched him in the chest.

Then, Fletes said, one of the men reached into his shirt pocket and grabbed $300, an iPhone 6 and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Then, the driver said, they threw him out of the taxi. Fletes managed to find a phone and call police.

Less than 30 minutes later, police said they spotted the Super Yellow Cab traveling north on Southwest 13th Avenue. The man driving the cab disobeyed orders to stop, police said, and they followed the taxi into a dead-end in the 1900 block of Northwest North River Drive.

Suspects Steve Matilla, 18, and Anthony Hernandez, 18, were taken into custody and charged with carjacking and robbery. The third man, whose description has not been released, hasn’t been found.

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