Local News

2 arrested in Raleigh cabbie's slaying

Posted April 22, 2008 9:11 a.m. EDT
Updated May 6, 2008 10:45 p.m. EDT

— Two men were charged Tuesday afternoon in the fatal stabbing of a cab driver, police said.

Officers found Sabiu Tukur, 52, bleeding inside his cab late Monday after it crashed into a fence in the 1100 block of Brighton Road. Tukur had been stabbed in his abdomen, and he died at WakeMed Tuesday morning.

"When I went out there, I looked at the man. He was stabbed real bad. ... He had his hands on his stomach," said a woman who lives nearby and who asked not to be named.

Tukur was one of the founders of the Excel Taxi Inc. His co-workers said he was on what appeared to be a routine call after picking up a fare from an apartment building at 1641 Burgundy St., off Raleigh Boulevard, when he was attacked.

"He called on the air (to dispatchers). 'I have been attacked. They're killing me. They're killing me.' That was what drew the attention to call the police," said Excel Taxi co-owner Usunobyn Evbuonwan said.

Tukur's cab crashed less than a mile from the apartment building.

"He's not a troublemaker at all. He was a very easy-going guy," Evbuonwan said, noting others drivers were collecting money to pay for a memorial service for Tukur.

Joseph Emmanual Caldwell, 24, was charged with murder and armed robbery, and Davin Jerome Heard, 28, was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery, police said.

Both men have lengthy criminal records, according to a search of court documents. Caldwell has been charged in several burglaries and thefts, while Heard has been charged with robberies, assaults and drug offenses.

Evbuonwan said violent confrontations with passengers are one of the dangers cab drivers face.

"At nighttime, (the danger) is doubled. It is doubled, but we cannot say because of one incident we are going to close down," he said.