Asst. police chief: St. Pete cab stabbing ‘most violent attack I had ever seen’

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The St. Petersburg Police Department released disturbing new details surrounding the stabbing death of a cab driver.

Juan Carlos Juares, 27, was arrested Thursday and charged with the murder of John Hutchens, 59.

Police said Juares repeatedly stabbed Hutchens at a Citgo gas station, stole the taxi and abandoned it at a different location.

Investigators said dashcam video recorded inside the taxi captured the attack.

Assistant Chief James Previtera said, “This man died for no good reason.”

Timeline:

Previtera said Hutchens picked up Juares at a home in the 3200 block of 47 Terr. N. around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Hutchens drove Juares to his home at a Sliver Lake Mobile Home Park on 24th Street North.

Previtera said it appeared that Juares didn’t have enough money to pay the fare, but Juares indicated that he would go inside to get the money.

He got back into the taxi, handed Hutchens $5 and what appeared to be a card, Previtera said.

Juares then asked to be driven back to the original location.

Hutchens became upset about the fare and told Juares he would drop him off where police could get him, Previtera said.

Hutchens stopped at the Citgo at 38th Ave N and 28th Street and told Juares to get out, Previtera said.

Juares began stabbing Hutchens repeatedly with a knife from the back seat of the cab.

Previtera said it went on for at least a minute and that Juares appeared to be calm the entire time.

“It was the most violent attack any of our investigators have seen in their careers,” Previtera said.

Hutchens was able to stagger out of the cab and dropped to one knee in the parking lot, Previtera said, but Juares calmly walked over and continued stabbing Hutchens.

Previtera said that portion of the attack was caught on surveillance video at the gas station.

Investigators said Juares took off with Hutchens’ taxi and abandoned it.

Police received a call for help around 1 a.m. and began searching for Juares.

Police received a tip about Juares’ identity and witnesses were able to identify him from photos.

Pinellas County deputies worked with the police department as the search overlapped jurisdictions.

Juares was tracked down at 9:30 p.m. Thursday at a home in Pinellas County. The people living there didn’t know he was hiding out, police said.

Juares altered his appearance by shaving his mustache, Previtera said.

Juares did not resist arrest and was booked at the Pinellas County Jail.

Officials said Juares had been arrested before but not for violent offenses.

Previtera said Hutchens had two adult sons who live out of state.

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