CLINTON, Md. - Five teenagers have been arrested and charged as adults following violent attacks on cab drivers, according to authorities.
Two teens, 17-year-old Malik Samuels of Upper Marlboro and 17-year-old Robert Walker of Greenbelt, were charged as adults with attempted murder after a cab driver was shot in Clinton early Wednesday morning.
According to police, the teens demanded money from the cab driver and then shot him.
Investigators said Samuels and Walker were also linked to a separate cab carjacking. In that case, officials said one of the suspects got into the cab and demanded money and the cab.
“They're very upset because there were two drivers in the same night that got hurt. One was shot and the other, his car was carjacked," Calvin Warren, the general manager of Silver Cab Company in Hyattsville, said. "The only thing we can do to keep them safe is we have our operators, every time they call to make sure they have a phone number and make sure they ask the questions about the customer."
Warren said the company was reviewing its safety procedures with cab drivers and operators following the attacks, including the carjacking of a cab driver in Largo.
Two hours before that incident, police said Samuels and Walker robbed and shot a cab driver in the 9000 block of Ballard Lane in Clinton shortly after 2:30 a.m.
In a separate string of crimes, detectives arrested three suspects linked to three cases involving three cab drivers between Jan. 15 and Jan. 22.
“The cab companies involved were extremely helpful and we were in constant communication with them and, in fact, at one point they were suspicious that they were being lured to another robbery. They contacted us and we were able to intervene in that situation, It did turn out later that was the suspects that attempted to contact them, that was late Saturday evening,” Lt. Patrick Hampson with the Prince George's County Police Department explained.
Detectives said 19-year-old Jose Ponce-Coreas, 16-year-old Demonte Johnson and 18-year-old Christian Tejada, all of Beltsville, were being charged as adults. Investigators said in each case at least one of the suspects posed as a customer and rode in the victims’ cab before the crime was committed.
Police said Ponce-Coreas, Johnson and Tejada admitted to their involvements in the cases.