A 41-year-old Charlotte man has been charged in connection with a robbery, stabbing and carjacking of a cab driver Friday morning in the middle of the busy SouthPark area, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.
Police say the alleged assailant crashed the cab into a telephone pole a short distance from where the driver was attacked.
The cab driver was hospitalized but is expected to survive.
Charged in the case was Brian Chandler, police say. The victim, who drives for York County-based Carolinas Cab Co., was identified as Gary Hinson.
The crimes happened on Fairview and Park roads, in the midst of the morning commute. Police shut down portions of both roads while they investigated.
According to police, a man got in the cab off Carowinds Boulevard in southwestern Mecklenburg County. The assault happened shortly after 7:30 a.m. on Fairview Road near Park Road.
Police accuse Chandler of robbing Hinson and stabbing him on the face, head, neck, arms and hands.
Police say the assailant left the driver on Fairview Road and drove off in the cab, turning north on Park Road. A short time later, the cab crashed into a telephone pole in the 4900 block of Park Road, between Seneca Place and Selwyn Avenue.
Investigators allege Chandler ran from the van. He was arrested a short time later at a nearby apartment complex. Police say Chandler was wearing an electronic monitoring device after a recent arrest on domestic violence charges and that he cut off the device while at the apartment complex, where he was arrested a short time later.
Hinson was taken by Medic to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was in stable condition Friday afternoon. Police said his injuries were not life-threatening.
Chandler was hospitalized for treatment of injuries he suffered when the cab crashed. His injuries also were not serious, according to police.
Logan Bentley, a manager at Carolinas Cab Co., said Charlotte is not an unusual destination for the company’s clients.
“Obviously we’re very concerned for our driver, so that’s where we’ve been concentrating our efforts, making sure he’s OK and reaching out to his family,” Bentley said, adding that a manager from the company went to CMC on Friday morning to meet with the driver’s wife.
Bentley said he doesn’t believe any of the company’s drivers have ever been attacked before.
Police say Chandler has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, robbery with a dangerous weapon, vehicle theft, and interference with an electronic monitoring device.
Records show he was charged June 6 with DWI and reckless driving, then arrested again Aug. 23 and charged with two counts of felony stalking and misdemeanor violating a domestic violence protective order.
The Observer’s Davie Hinshaw contributed.