The story appears on

Page A4

August 4, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Knife-edge trip for taxi driver

POLICE have detained a man who is accused of threatening a cab driver with a knife in a bid to get from Hangzhou to Shanghai.

When police cars cornered the cab, a 20-minute standoff ensued before the suspect surrendered to officers.

The terrified cabbie was subjected to an ordeal lasting more than two hours on Sunday when the man ordered the driver to take him to his home in Shanghai.

Police in Jiaxing City of Zhejiang Province stopped the taxi on a highway linking Hangzhou to Shanghai.

The driver, surnamed Liu, was unharmed and the suspect, believed aged in his 40s, was transferred to Hangzhou police who are trying to establish his true identity.

The suspect got in Liu's taxi in Hangzhou about 3:30pm and asked the cabbie to go to Shanghai. The two agreed on a fare of 750 yuan (US$109.80).

However, when Liu realized that the trip would go beyond his shift time, he suggested that his cabbie partner due to start work soon should take over the fare. At this point, the man is alleged to have produced the knife and threatened Liu.

"He pointed the knife at my neck and ordered me to drive," Liu said.

"He took away my cell phone."

Liu drove off but, without the suspect's knowledge, put in an emergency alert to police about 3:45pm via the GPS system installed in the taxi.

Two police cars from Hangzhou began chasing the taxi after receiving the call and informed Jiaxing police of the situation.

When the taxi approached Tongxiang, about half way to Shanghai, Liu said the man accused him of cheating him and ordered the cabbie to turn around.

Liu exited the highway at a construction site and workers noticed something amiss and phoned police.

"He held my right hand tightly all the time," Liu said.

"I had to drive very slowly."

Two police cars from Jiaxing eventually cornered the taxi at a service station along the highway at 5:30pm, officers said. Jiaxing is about 90 kilometers away from downtown Shanghai.

Police said the man shouted at them, demanding to be sent back to Shanghai.

Officers succeeded in calming the man down after about 20 minutes and persuaded him to leave the taxi.

He denied hijacking the taxi, claiming he was "just playing with the knife because the journey was boring," said Zhen Tonghui, a Hangzhou public security bureau officer.

The man told police that he quarreled with people in Hangzhou and was depressed.

He also said he was separated from his wife and came to Hangzhou on Saturday afternoon.

Police said they found a fake ID card on the man. Inquiries are continuing.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend