Cab drivers learning to protect themselves after rash of violence - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Cab drivers learning to protect themselves after rash of violence

Clayton Tseu Clayton Tseu
Howard Higa Howard Higa
Lt. Britt Nishijo Lt. Britt Nishijo

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL)- A recent rash of taxi cab crimes has one company accelerating into action to curb this serious threat.

TheCAB company manages more than 650 Honolulu contractors. It says prevention is the key to protect drivers from beatings, assaults and robberies. They have what's called the most dangerous job in the country.

This past June in broad daylight.

"When he opened the door he slid all the way back behind me so I couldn't see him in my rear view mirror," said Taxi driver Clayton Tseu.

It seemed like nothing.

"It just looked like a local guy," said Tseu.

Taxi driver Clayton Tseu soon sensed something was wrong.

"He pretended like he was looking for money and that's when he pulled the ice pick out," said Tseu.

Tseu remained calm, even answered a call from his mother, and managed to get away.

TheCAB company knows the dangers drivers face.

Teaming with Honolulu police, this meeting's main attraction is education.

"Throw caution to the wind and teach them what they have to look for," said Company president Howard Higa.

Recently a driver was maliciously attacked and robbed in Manoa last November. A taxi driver was shot and killed at the Tantalus lookout in 2006.

"It's dangerous but it's a living," said Tseu.

For taxi drivers there's always a fear with every potential fare, a sense of uncertainty every time someone sits right behind them.

"Occasionally we'll run across someone on drugs or other issues and we're going to have to deal with it," said Higa.

Experts offer advice.

"They should use common sense, find an avenue of escape," said Lt. Britt Nishijo.

"I still have that in the back of my mind that fear, oh is this guy ok," said Tseu.

The memories are still painful, but Tseu says he relives them to keep the other drivers safe.

At the seminar, drivers also learned how to identify problem situations and how to get out of them. Cars have a panic button that contacts police, but TheCAB company still urges its drivers to avoid confrontations at all costs.

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