Prison for man found guilty in D.C. cab driver assaults

A District man found guilty of 13 assaults against cab drivers in 2008 was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison Wednesday.

Prosecutors said Emero Tornero, 31, posed as a District cab driver, although he did not have a license, and assaulted Maryland and Virginia cab drivers working in the District who he believed were taking fares from him.

Tornero targeted his victims at night when they were alone, prosecutors said. One was 78 years old.

Prosecutors said Tornero would pull up next to his victim’s cab, make some remarks and then reach out the door to slash the victim’s tires. When the victim would exit the vehicle to inspect the damage, Tornero would assault the with a knife or his car.

D.C. Superior Court Ann O’Regan Keary also placed Tornero on five years probation after he completes his prison sentence.

Authorities have seen a number of attacks against cab drivers recently. On Saturday, D.C. police arrested Delonta Williams, 25 of Southeast, and a 15-year-old Capitol Heights youth, charging them with three November robberies of cab drivers.

Authorities said there had been 11 robberies and carjackings of cab drivers in December. Police have said many of the drivers were robbed by individuals who hailed the cabs near Metro stations.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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