A Chicago-area man has been arrested after allegedly throwing bleach on a cab driver to avoid paying a $175 fare.
Thursday, 18-year-old Carpentersville resident Oliver Dickens reportedly hired the victim in Elgin, 40 miles northwest of Chicago, and asked him to drive to the South Shore neighborhood. Dickens gave the driver his ID as collateral, but when they reached the teen’s destination in the 7400 block of S Euclid Avenue, he refused to pay and instead threw bleach in the cabbie’s face.
Court records show that the 34-year-old cab driver suffered “burning and irritation” in his eyes and on his skin. Dickens was arrested at the same location where the cab driver dropped him off Friday afternoon, and was charged with criminal damage to property, theft of labor, and aggravated battery of a taxi driver.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the $175 fare is consistent with a $3-a-mile fare, plus any fees incurred, for the 55-mile trip to the South Shore.
Dickens is being held in lieu of $125,000 bond.
Last month, a New York man who stabbed a cab driver three years ago was sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison. Michael Enright asked Ahmed H. Sharif if he was Muslim, which he was. Enright then began to hurl insults at Sharif and stabbed and slashed the cab driver through the partition. Sharif suffered wounds to his throat, face, arms, and hands. Enright was drunk the night of the attack.
“I failed in every aspect of my life during the active days of my alcoholism,” the 24-year-old said. “Most importantly, on August 24, 2010, the date of my last drink, I failed as a human being when I attacked an innocent man in an alcoholic blackout and nearly took his life.”
Sharif, who came to the United States from Bangladesh almost 30 years ago, said he tried to return to cab driving after the attack, but that memories of that night caused a high blood pressure condition.
“It was the end of being a taxi driver in my life,” Sharif said in the statement that was read by an assistant district attorney at Enright’s sentencing. “And a lot of things happened that made my life very hard, all because of this.”
What sentence do you think Oliver Dickens should get for throwing bleach on a cab driver?