Man, 23, charged in stabbing, robbery of cabdriver Victim's condition listed as serious

August 24, 1993|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff Writer

A 23-year-old Columbia man has been charged with robbery and assault with intent to murder a cab driver who was stabbed 22 times early Saturday morning.

Police say Shawn Joseph Chinn, 23, of the 7000 block of Cradlerock Way, called Columbia Taxicab of Howard County shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday and asked to be picked up at the Owen Brown Village Center.

Mr. Chinn told the driver, Gholamreza Asliyalfani of Prince George's County, to take him to the village of Long Reach, police said.

As the cab neared the intersection of Tamar Drive and Silver Trumpet, police said, Mr. Chinn threatened the driver with a military-style knife about 8 inches long, demanding the driver's money.

When the driver hesitated, he was stabbed from behind, police said, then dragged into the back seat, where the attack continued.

Altogether, Mr. Asliyalfani was stabbed 22 times in the back, shoulder and neck. He was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in serious but stable condition yesterday. He was robbed of $175.

Police said Mr. Chinn was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the attack. After the assault, he got into the driver's seat and attempted to drive away, police said.

Police said the cab was abandoned and the assailant ran into nearby woods when the car hit a curb at Tamar Drive and Silver Trumpet.

A resident saw the accident and saw a man flee into the woods between Tamar Drive and Snowden River Parkway, police said. The witness yelled for a neighbor to call police.

Police sealed off the area at 6:15 a.m. At 6:55 a.m., Cpl. Morris Carroll reported that he saw the suspect in a swampy area near Snowden River Parkway. Corporal Carroll arrested and handcuffed Mr. Chinn, assisted by another officer, police said.

The money was recovered, and a large knife was found in the grass near where the arrest took place, police said.

Mr. Chinn was charged with robbery, assault with intent to murder and a weapons violation. He was being held in the county Detention Center on $500,000 bail.

Frank Bonsu, manager and part-owner of Columbia Taxicab, said this was the third time in six months that a driver had been robbed. The other drivers were not injured, he said.

The company seeks to verify fares by telephone, Mr. Bonsu said, and is asking drivers not to pick up passengers who hail them from the street.

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