Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Four Howard County teenagers are facing prison time after being charged with attempted murder of a cab driver.
Rochelle Ritchie has the harrowing story from the cab driver.
The driver says he is lucky to be alive and adds that he wasn’t going down without a fight.
“One of them threatens to blow my head off,” said cab driver Terone Johnson.
In his own words, Johnson tells WJZ how four Oakland Mills High School students tried to take his life.
“I didn’t expect nobody to try and strangle me with a rope and put a gun to my head at gunpoint,” he said.
Howard County police say the four students–16-year-old Johnam Perez-Rivera, 17-year-old Woody Rousseau, 17-year-old Chelby Ofususafori and 19-year-old Khalid Woods–are now charged with second-degree attempted murder.
“They are charged as adults because of the serious nature of the charges,” said Sherry Llewellyn, Howard County Police.
It was just before 11 p.m. when police say the high school students called Columbia Flyer Taxi for a ride. But the teenagers wanted more than just a lift.
“During the ride, they ordered him to pull over. One of the suspects began to choke him from behind while the other pulled out a handgun and threatens to kill him,” said Llewellyn.
The cab driver told police he was in fear for his life. That’s when he hit the gas, accelerating full speed ahead. The airbags deployed and he jumped out and ran for help.
“It was the passenger side that got the full impact so he dropped his gun and they just got out running,” said Johnson.
Former students who know the defendants are in disbelief.
“One of the students I had weights with. Played football, they were into sports. Good students, didn’t get into trouble like that,” said one student.
Johnson, a husband and father of five, says he is lucky to be alive but is seeking out ways to protect himself.
“I did go to the county when the incident happened and told them we all need gun permits to carry with our cab,” he said.
The cab driver suffered only minor injuries. All four teens are being held in the Howard County Detention Center.