Cab driver stabbed multiple times, robbed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A cab driver became the victim of a violent crime on Tuesday, less than two miles from where another cab driver was shot and killed Saturday.

The sheriff's office said a deputy arrived at the intersection of West 19th & Wilson Streets just before 2 a.m. Tuesday in response to a robbery with injuries.

Sgt. M.D. Clements told FCN they discovered 71-year-old Marcel Jean Gilles disoriented in the street, covered in blood. He had been robbed and stabbed multiple times, with a severe cut to his neck.

FCN spoke to Gilles by phone Tuesday morning.

"I don't know why they did it," Gilles told FCN when speaking about the suspects who stabbed him.

Gilles told FCN he is in a lot of pain, but he is okay and that he is going to continue driving his taxi cab.

Gilles told FCN that he had to have 70 stitches in his neck from the stab wound.

Of the incident, Gilles told FCN "There's a lot of good people out there. The bad ones are just a few."

Gilles later told police he picked up two customers near the Hyatt Hotel downtown and drove the men to 19th and Wilson, where they grabbed his hands and stabbed him.

Gilles told deputies he panicked and pressed the gas, causing his cab to crash into a fence. He was then robbed and stabbed again.

Gilles left the cab and wandered into the street, where witnesses saw him and called 911.

He was taken to UF Health Jacksonville where he was listed in life-threatening condition, but later upgraded to stable condition. Tuesday afternoon he was listed in fair condition.

The suspects are described as two African-American men who were last seen wearing all black clothing. Clements said one of them may be injured.

A witness told officers he saw two men in dark clothing fighting with another male. One crawled down Grunthal Street. The other two fled toward W. 19th Street.

JSO can not confirm if Tuesday's incident was connected to the weekend murder of another cab driver. On Saturday morning, a cab driver was shot to death less than two miles away.

These incidents have cab drivers saying they're on edge.

Robert Frisco has been driving a cab for a little over one month

"I just moved here 4 months ago from Connecticut," he told FCN Tuesday afternoon.

Frisco said the recent events are a concern

"It gets me worried. My son wants me to quit," Frisco said.

Frisco said he was concerned for his safety

"Yeah. Absolutely I sometimes come out late at night, too," he said."

Another cab driver, a twenty-four-year old named George, said he had a different kind of safety in mind. "I ride with my gun. I've got a gun license. Then I try to talk to my customers and make sure I get a good description of their face," Said George.

In January, 2013, cab driver, Carlton James, Jr. was shot three times, over $30 while he was on the job.

"Oh yeah, it's scary, you feel me? You're getting in the car with a whole bunch of strange people. You really don't know people's backgrounds and stuff," George said.

Tiffany Acevedo, Driver Services Manager with Northern Florida Transportation Group released a statement Tuesday saying

"We are cooperating with law enforcement completely, totally and unequivocally."

Related: Cab driver shot to death early Saturday evening


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