WASHINGTON – A group of Columbia, Md., teens are facing attempted murder and robbery charges after police say they choked a cab driver with a karate belt and threatened him with a gun earlier this month.
Howard County police say the four Oakland Mills High School students called Columbia Flyer for a cab the night of March 1 to go to Sewell’s Orchard Road in Columbia.
During the ride, the group asked the driver to stop. When he pulled over, the teen seated behind the driver put a karate belt around the driver’s neck, chocking him, police say.
Another teen pulled out a gun and threatened to kill the driver. The driver, who told police he couldn’t breath and feared for his life, hit the gas and struck a tree, triggering the air bags, police say.
In the aftermath of the crash, the driver was able to escape from the cab. He ran to a nearby house and called 911, police say.
The teens left items behind in the cab and investigators were able to identify the teens involved by that evidence and by cell phone records, according to police.
Police believe the teen who pulled out the gun was Khalid Khahiem Woods, 19. He was charged with conspiracy, armed robbery, robbery, assault and second-degree attempted murder. As of Tuesday morning, he was being held in the Howard County Detention Center in lieu of $350,000 bail.
The teen believed to have choked the driver was Johnam Perez-Rivera, 16. He was charged with conspiracy, armed robbery, robbery, assault and second-degree attempted murder. As of Tuesday morning, he was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Police say the two other teens in the cab were Woody Rousseau, 17, and Chellby Ofosusafori, 17.
Rousseau was charged with conspiracy, armed robbery, robbery, assault and second-degree attempted murder. He has been released on $200,000 bond.
Ofosusafori was charged with conspiracy, armed robbery and robbery. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
All four were arrested late last week, police say.