Frederick Ryan, Chief of Police
112 Mystic St.
Arlington, MA 02474
For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Arlington Police Arrest Two Men After Taxicab Driver Robbed Saturday Night
ARLINGTON — Police Chief Frederick Ryan announces the arrest of two men accused of beating a taxicab driver after refusing to pay the full fare for their ride from the Alewife MBTA Station to an address in Arlington.
CHRISTOPHER LaFRANCE, AGE 25 OF ARLINGTON and JACOB SHAPS, AGE 24 OF BOSTON were charged with unarmed robbery, intimidation of a witness, and assault and battery.
The suspects were not going to get far, as they left several calling cards behind: LaFRANCE allegedly used his credit card to pay $2 of the $20 for the fare and left behind several cards with his name on them in the back seat of the cab.
Arlington Police responded at 11:36 p.m. Saturday to the area around Lowell Street and Park Avenue Extension, where they found the cab driver who reported he had been assaulted by two male customers.
According to the cab driver, he had picked up the two men at Alewife Station and drove them to Arlington. The cab driver told the suspects that the fare would be approximately $20. One suspect slid his credit card into the cab’s reader and paid $2 of the fare. When the driver told the two men that they still owed him money, they began to argue. When the driver threatened to call the police, one of the men allegedly started punching the driver. The driver then reached for his cell phone, but the suspect allegedly grabbed it and threw it out the window of the cab onto the pavement.
The driver gave police a good description of the two suspects, and police broadcast the description to units around the area.
The driver then reported that one of the men left several cards with his name on them in the back of the cab. The cards belonged to a “Chris LaFrance.” Arlington Police dispatch determined that there was a man with that name living on Cleveland Street.
Officers went to the home and found two men inside. The driver positively identified both men, and they were arrested.
“I wish to commend the cab driver for coming forward and positively identifying his alleged assailants,” Chief Ryan said. “The Arlington Police Department takes cases like this very seriously, and we are relieved that he was not badly hurt.”
The suspects are currently being held on bail at the Arlington Police Department and will likely be arraigned Monday in Cambridge District Court. The driver declined medical treatment.