A woman wanting a cab ride from a Long Beach donut shop is the subject of an investigation after she was caught on camera brandishing a knife and trying to hit the taxi driver with a hammer, police announced Tuesday.
The shocking encounter began when a woman called Yellow Cab for a ride just before 3 a.m. on Sept. 26 to 7th Street and Termino Avenue in Long Beach, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
Captured in surveillance video from the camera-outfitted car, the woman enters the cab and immediately demands the driver to give her $50 before reaching through the open partition with a box cutter, police said.
The partition was open so the driver, Robbie Enajeroh, 65, could collect his fare.
"Don’t do it, please. What do you want?" the driver -- who has been behind the wheel for 30 years -- asks in the video. He tried to stop the passenger but only injured himself.
"He reached for her wrist that was holding the knife, but he inadvertently grabbed the blade of the knife and ended up cutting himself significantly," Gardena Yellow Cab manager William Rouse said.
After the two talk for a moment, the woman reaches for a hammer. She can be heard saying, "If you do something stupid..." as she pulls it up toward the partition.
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Video shows the woman thrash the hammer into the front of the cab, the tool landing on Enajeroh’s head.
"She said, 'You don't want to pay that money,' then I heard a big bang by my head. It was a hammer," Enajeroh told NBC4. "If I didn't have that partition behind me, she would have split my skull open."
He speeds up the car in an attempt to distract her, the woman seen yelling "Stop! Stop!"
The woman bailed out of the cab as the car was traveling 30 mph, just before the driver accidentally hit a parked car, police said.
"When I looked back, she was gone," Enajeroh said. "She jumped out of a moving vehicle."
Without the surveillance footage, the woman may have been home free.
"The cameras were put in for precisely this reason, to help protect the safety of our drivers," Rouse said.
Officials said Enajeroh was so traumatized by the incident, he couldn’t watch the video. He did, however, return to work, but he told NBC4 his driving days may soon be over.
Police are now asking for the public’s help in finding the woman, who they believe may have been injured when she jumped out of the cab. She is described as African-American about 20 to 25 years old, last seen wearing a brown knit cap and light-colored hooded sweatshirt.
Anyone with information is asked to call Long Beach Police Robbery Detective Fermin Gonzalez at 562-570-7464.
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