Bizarre cab ride ends with passenger arrested

SEATTLE -- The cab driver’s fare likely seemed promising — until the passenger climbed into the front seat.

Seattle police said the driver reported he picked up a 30-year-old man in Mill Creek and drove him several places, including the University of Washington area. But things became increasingly bizarre, and then turned dangerous after the passenger smoked an unknown substance at one of the stops, the driver said.

The driver reported that the passenger acted “crazy” afterward. He told the police that while driving to the 11300 block of Lake City Way Northeast, the man forced his way into the front seat and offered the cabbie $200 if he could drive the car.

The cabbie refused and said the passenger became enraged and began yelling, prompting the driver to stop the car.

The cabbie told police the passenger then got out, went to the driver’s window and demanded his money back.  The cabbie said that when he said he hadn’t been paid yet, the passenger punched him in the back of the neck and threatened to kill him.

The driver used his cell phone to call 911 and the passenger fled.

After police arrived to interview the driver, the officer noticed a man approaching who matched the suspect’s description. The cab driver yelled, “That’s the guy, that’s the guy!”

The officer confronted the man and arrested him. He was booked into King County Jail on robbery and harassment charges and two misdemeanor warrants.

The driver was taken to a hospital for evaluation, police said.