A 33-year-old Naperville man was charged Friday with stabbing an Aurora taxi driver in the throat with what police believe may have been a broken license plate cover.
Maurice Martin of the 700 block of Inland Circle remained jailed at the Aurora police station, where he's been held since a lengthy car chase following the stabbing Thursday. He faces charges of aggravated vehicular hijacking, vehicular hijacking, aggravated battery, aggravated fleeing and eluding and possession of a stolen vehicle.
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Police said the 39-year-old victim picked up Martin about 4:45 a.m. Thursday at a Naperville gas station on the 600 block of North Route 59. Martin initially asked to be taken to the Hollywood Casino in downtown Aurora, authorities said, but changed his mind after stopping at a second gas station, supposedly to get change for a $100 bill.
Martin then gave the driver -- an Aurora man who works for Eagle Taxi Company -- street-by-street directions through Aurora's near-east side. After stopping in the area of Spring and North Fourth Streets, the pair got into a "short verbal altercation about where Martin's ultimate destination would be," according to a police news release.
That's when authorities say Martin pulled out a sharp object and stabbed the driver in the throat. Police said they later determined the weapon may have been a broken plastic license plate holder.
Afterward, the driver jumped out of the cab, which rolled forward into another vehicle. Martin then jumped behind the wheel and took off driving east, police said.
Roughly 12 hours later, about 4:50 p.m. Thursday, an off-duty DuPage County Forest Preserve police officer saw the stolen taxi near Butterfield Road and Route 59. Police said officers from Warrenville, Naperville and Aurora all attempted to stop the vehicle as it traveled to Aurora and through the city's east side.
By the time the taxi reached North Avenue and Benton Street, Aurora police said they \ learned a state police plane happened to be airborne in the area and had a "clear view" of the stolen cab's direction of travel. The chase ended when police put down "stop sticks" at Ohio Street and Harriet Avenue. The sticks punctured one of the car's tires, and Martin was arrested at the scene, police said.
Authorities said Martin was treated for minor injuries sustained when he collided with an Aurora police cruiser during the chase. An officer also suffered minor injuries.
Police said the victim, who they did not identify by name, was released from an Aurora hospital after being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.
Martin is scheduled to appear Saturday in Kane County bond court.