Hayes Osei Dennis was supposed to close the taxi repair shop he managed a block from Nationals Park at 6 p.m. and get home to Fort Washington to dine with a visiting in-law, who was heading home to Ghana. But for some reason, he lingered.
At 6:45 p.m. Thursday, when his anxious wife called the Gold Star Cab on Q Street SW, Dennis told her he “would be home soon,” according to his brother-in-law. But he never made it to dinner.
About 15 minutes after he spoke to his wife, D.C. police said, Dennis was stabbed to death during a robbery. The 60-year-old, who emigrated from Ghana a decade ago, left behind seven children, six boys and one girl between ages 4 and 20.
D.C. Police Lt. Robert Alder of the homicide unit confirmed that Dennis was killed in a robbery outside the shop. The killing occurred about three hours after the Nationals lost to the New York Mets, 9-5.
“We are in the process of retrieving different surveillance tapes from the area,” Alder said. He declined to provide additional details of the attack.
The owner of Gold Star Cab, Britam Ghuman, said at least two other employees were there with Dennis and saw him get stabbed.
“He would never harm anybody,” Ghuman said of Dennis, who had managed the shop for the past five years. “He was a very nice gentleman.”
With Dennis’s children and his wife, Abigail, too distraught to talk, his 61-year-old brother-in-law, Osei Antwi, became the family spokesman. Antwi said he talked to Ghuman and two workers who were there during the attack.
Antwi said the workers told him that Dennis was standing outside when a man asked him for water. “Dennis told him to go in and help himself,” Antwi said. “When he came out, he threatened him with a big knife and said, ‘Give me all the money you have.’ ”
The workers told Antwi that Dennis gave the man $20 he had in his pocket, turned to walk away and was stabbed twice, once in the body and again in the neck. D.C. police declined to comment on the account the workers gave Antwi.
Antwi said that when Dennis did not return home, the family had dinner. Antwi said he had just returned to his Alexandria home when a friend called him with news of the stabbing. He rushed back to pick up Dennis’s wife, a nurse, and they went to George Washington University Hospital, where they said the victim had been taken.
But when they arrived, Antwi said staff sent them back to police, who told them Dennis had died.
Antwi, who drives a cab in the District, said relatives here and in West Africa are debating on which continent to hold the funeral. The visiting uncle, Nana Fosuhene, wants the family to move back to Ghana.
“He says to go where there is peace,” Antwi said. “He doesn’t see the reason why we should be in this country, where everyone is dying.”