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June 11, 2010

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Illegal-cab driver hits cop with car

AN illegal cabbie who hit a policeman with his car at a traffic stop has been detained for obstructing law enforcement.

The police officer, Li Yunhao, suffered bruises as he fell to the ground after being dragged by the car. The suspect, not identified, was soon caught by police backup, said the Changning District police yesterday.

The incident occurred at a check point on Hongqiao Road near Shuicheng Road on Monday night, police said.

The suspect's cab, a red car, looked suspicious to Li, who asked the driver to pull over.

Instead of stopping, the suspect pretended to slow down the car and suddenly stepped on the gas when Li approached.

Trying to stop the car, Li grabbed the door frame with both hands but was dragged nearly 100 meters and thrown to the ground.

Li's uniform, belt and police tools were all damaged, police said.

Li's colleague Qian Jingxia, who was with Li at the time, started to chase the car on his motorcycle.

He kept a distance from the suspect and turned off his siren and blue-and-red beacon in order not to alert him.

He finally stopped the suspect with backup at the intersection of Yan'an Road W. and Hongmei Road, where the suspect cab was stopped by a red light with a car in front of it, blocking his way, according to a local TV news report.

The suspect was found to have cloned another cab by forging the license plate, police said. The suspect will face criminal charges besides the fine for operating an illegal taxi, which could be as high as 50,000 yuan (US$7,320).

Shanghai police said the number of cabs with forged or expired license plates has risen this year, especially in the city's suburban areas.

The Pudong New Area police said a record 24 such cabs have been caught in the past few months, almost all in the Zhoupu and Kangqiao areas.

"Taxis with forged licenses hold much potential safety hazard and the passengers' rights might not be assured if there were an accident," said Liang Hong, an officer with the Pudong traffic police.

Liang noted that the unqualified cabs are a threat because "they could stop everywhere to pick up passengers, speed, run the red lights and turn around, back up and change lanes illegally.

"They easily evade punishment because the license is cloned from others."


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