Helping hand is slapped Excessive force used by cabbie, jury says.

February 07, 1992|By San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO -- Crime doesn't pay? Ask mugger Ocie McClure.

Mr. McClure, who admitted robbing a Japanese tourist on San Franciso's Market Street, won $24,595 yesterday for injuries suffered when a cab driver chased him down and pinned him against the wall with the cab.

Mr. McClure, who is serving a 10-year sentence in state prison for the May 1989 robbery, sued taxi driver Holden Charles Hollom for using "excessive force" when Mr. Hollom used his taxi to pin Mr. McClure's leg against a building on Hayes Street near City Hall.

Mr. McClure admitted robbing Chinro Sakai, who was visiting from Japan.

Mr. Hollom, a taxi driver for 25 years, was hailed as a hero at the time for going after Mr. McClure and capturing the fleeing mugger with the help of his Ford taxi.

But Mr. McClure claimed that he was entitled to damages for the severe broken leg he suffered. Attorneys for both sides said they had never heard of a similar case.

"None of us liked Mr. McClure," said juror Albert M. Starr following the verdict.

But 10 other jurors said the cab driver could have blocked Mr. McClure instead of ramming him. In civil cases with 12 jurors, nine votes are needed for a verdict.

"What he did there was heroic, but he didn't consider a few things," said Mr. Starr, who is unemployed.

Mr. McClure did not get all that he wanted. He had asked for $31,000 for medical bills and an additional sum for his pain and suffering.

The mugger's attorney, Ian Zimmerman, called Mr. Hollom "basically a decent guy" who overreacted.

"I do not think it is fair to take a 4,000-pound cab and ram someone against a wall," Mr. Zimmerman said.

Mr. Hollom, who still works for Luxor Cab Co., could not be reached.

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