ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Police are searching for the person who stabbed a cab driver and left him to die in the parking lot of a closed gas station in St. Petersburg. The suspect then stole the cab.
It happened Thursday around 1 a.m. at the Citgo gas station at the intersection of 38th Avenue North and 28th Street North. A witness said he tried to save the victim, but it wasn’t enough.
“I wish I could do more. That was somebody’s father. You know, I would do that for anybody, that’s how it should be,” said Justin Windham.
The victim, John Hutchens, 59, of Pinellas Park was a cab driver for United Taxi of Clearwater. Managers at the company weren’t ready to make a comment about his death Thursday.
Victor Bacquez, Hutchens’ neighbor said, “I’m surprised that happened to him. He’s a nice person and I don’t have no complaints about him.”
Bacquez believes Hutchens was driving cab and working the night shift for about two years.
Police responded to a call about a man who was injured and lying in the parking lot of the gas station.
Windham told News Channel 8 he was in the area dropping a friend off when he saw a cab and Hutchens on the ground.
“It looked like a scuffle and the cab driver was fighting with another guy and the guy is screaming ‘Help! Help! Help!’ and my buddy was like leave that man alone and the guy was like forget you so I backed my car up to go into the gas station and the cab took off,” said Windham.
With no time to even think, Windham said he just reacted.
“I didn’t go after the cab. I saw the guy was bleeding really bad so I went around. I had shirts in my car and I tried to stop the bleeding but it was continuously coming out.”
Another witness called 911 as Windham continued life-saving efforts.
“He said he was dying, I’m dying and took his last breaths and that was it.”
Officers also performed CPR on Hutchens, but he died just minutes after help arrived.
Witnesses told police they saw the suspect take off in the cab. The cab was found abandoned near 47th Avenue North and 41st Way. Police still do not have a suspect in custody.
“I just can’t believe that someone could take a human life like that. I just hope they catch whoever did that. It’s very sad,” said Windham.
Police are working to determine whether there is any surveillance video that might have captured the crime.
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