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Article updated: 7/5/2013 5:19 AM

Arrest made in stabbing of Aurora taxi driver

By Harry Hitzeman

A 33-year-old Aurora man suspected of stabbing a taxi driver in the throat and then stealing his cab early Thursday was taken into custody following a brief police chase.

The 39-year-old driver, also from Aurora, was not seriously injured and has been released from the hospital.

According to Aurora police, the driver got a call at 4:45 a.m. asking for a pickup at a gas station in the 600 block of North Route 59.

Police said the driver picked up the man, who asked to be taken to an address near downtown Aurora. But the suspect, whose name isn't being released, changed his mind and began giving the driver street-by-street directions to a different spot, city spokesman Dan Ferrelli said.

When they reached the area of Spring and North Fourth streets on the city's near east side, the man told the driver to pull to the curb. As he did, the man held a knife to the driver's throat and cut him, police said.

The driver then jumped from the cab, a 2005 white Dodge Caravan from the Eagle Taxi Co., while it was still moving. The suspect then moved from the back seat to the driver's seat and drove off, headed east on Spring Street, police said.

Police said the suspect did not demand money from the driver before attacking him.

Ferrelli said an off-duty police officer from a neighboring agency spotted the suspect driving the stolen cab at 4:47 p.m. in the area of Route 59 and Butterfield Road.

Aurora police began pursuing the vehicle at Eola and Butterfield. There was a minor collision between the suspect and an Aurora squad car, resulting in minor damage and no injuries to the officer.

Police successfully used a stop stick tire deflation device and the pursuit ended at 5:06 p.m. when the suspect pulled to the side of the road at Walter and Ohio in Aurora, Ferrelli said.

He surrendered without incident and is being treated at an Aurora hospital for a minor head injury, Ferrelli said.

Ferrelli said more information will be available Friday.

Staff writer Kimberly Pohl contributed to this report.

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