Iowa City taxi cab drivers respond to safety concerns - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City taxi cab drivers respond to safety concerns

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- Questions of driver safety are being raised in Iowa City, as police continue their search for a man they say robbed the driver of a taxi cab. 

The robbery happened Thursday night near Lucas and Bowery Streets.  Police say the suspect reached over the front seat of the car, and robbed the driver after applying a choke hold.  The driver was not hurt.

This is just the latest in several attacks on Iowa City cab drivers over the past few months.  One driver was stopped at gunpoint iowa city driver who was stopped at gunpoint in October. 

"I looked at the guy, I said what do you want? He said, give me all you got, give me your money, I told him, I said I aint got none, at the time I was telling him that he had cocked his gun," said cab driver Amy Szumal.

Szumal was able to drive away with minor bruises.

"We're hearing about it more and more in Iowa City, it hasn't necessarily become common, but it has become more frequent," said Marco's Taxicab Co. owner Mark Paterno.

Cab company owners want to make sure they keep their drivers away from harm's reach.

"Driver safety is obviously our number one concern, it's a unique business being confined in a closed space with the general public like that," said Paterno.

Marco's Taxi Cab Company is putting security cameras in all their cars and encourages drivers to keep the cash they carry at a minimum.  As for Szumal, she says she has always taken the necessary precautions while driving, but there is one thing she has changed.

"Since then I've pulled into my parking spot, I've always backed into my parking spot," said Szumal.

Online Reporter: Jason Epner
Online Producer: Mike Verlo

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