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Oct 27, 2000

Taxi drivers fear for their safety

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Taxi drivers have become very concerned about their safety following the murder of Roy Geban. When News Five visited the taxi stands in Belize City, the drivers say they have to work the streets in order to make money, but at the same time they want to be able to feel secured while doing their job. While talking to the drivers, we also found out about an incident in which another taxi driver was seriously wounded.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Police say they strongly suspect the killing of taxi man Roy Geban is related to another incident that left another taxi driver seriously injured last Friday night. According to reports, on October twentieth, Lincoln Webster, who operates out of the Plum Tree Taxi Stand, was shot in the neck shortly after he picked up two men. Dale Bowen, Webster’s friend and taxi driver, says he understands the men came looking for Webster and they had asked him to give them a drop to his house.

Dale Bowen, Taxi Driver

“Well I wasn’t out here. When I came out in the morning, they told me that somebody came to look for me. I asked who it was and they told me that Webster got shot. They said well it was you that the men came and looked for. I said that if they came to look for me they would have found me. I went and checked with Webster and he said that it we me that men were asking for and when he was taking the men to me, the men cut him off and did him things. I told him that it wasn’t me that the men wanted, maybe you’re the man they wanted. I don’t know.”

Jacqueline Woods

“They shot Webster in his neck.”

Dale Bowen

“Yeah. He got shot in his neck.”

Jacqueline Woods

“What is his condition?”

Dale Bowen

“Right now he has already left the hospital, it’s just that his face is still swollen and once of his eye looks like it’s crossed and there’s a hole in the left side of his neck.”

Bowen says he does not know why anyone would want to harm him or Webster. Police say because the modus operandi in both incidents are similar, they believe the cases are related. Geban’s body was found early Thursday morning on the Western highway with several gunshot wounds. His car was later found parked inside the Farmers Market by the Belcan Bridge. Both incidents have left taxi drivers feeling uneasy about their safety on the job.

Llewelyn Flowers, Taxi Driver

“Well it hurts us a lot because they are a part of us and when things like that that happen to taxi drivers, it has us afraid of running anybody because you don’t know who’s next. The thing that we need to focus on now is to get together and let us catch the killers because it’s not really right for them to kill the taxi people and get away with it because taxi helps the community.”

Dale Bowen

“We get very concerned because we are used to work at night and right now we are afraid to work at night because if that could happen to a taxi man, it could happen to anyone of us.”

Dennis Sanchez, Taxi Driver

“We were concerned from before that, but with his death, he was one of our own and we all work together, it kind of strike us a bit harder now. What I do to avoid those situations, I quit working at night or if I do work at night, I only take one passenger and he would have to sit beside me.”

Today, the taxi drivers say although they have taken precautionary measures to protect themselves, they would like more protection and are calling on the proper authorities to assist them in coming up with a solution.

Jacqueline Woods

“I the meantime what are you doing to protect yourself?”

Llewelyn Flowers

“I am a person who grew up on the street and I just watch who I take and if my mind tells me that a guy doesn’t look too right to take, then I don’t take him.”

Roy “Bullet” Craig, Taxi Driver

“We operate by telephones calls mostly and people who walk in coming to us, we have to know them.”

Llewelyn Flowers

“Each taxi driver get up and get protection from the government, even a gun license is a help to some of the taxi drivers who have to be out here all night to work and to take a little bit of money home to the family. This is why taxi drivers are out, but these days you have too many taxis and no protection.”

Dennis Sanchez

“Well really and truly they should have more patrols in the nighttime. Even a little bit on the highways, because if you notice, most of the stuff that’s happening, they take people out on the highway. So we need some more highway patrols at least that they stop and chat with us at times. The police should have more public relations with the taxi drivers, stop and ask if everything is okay and if all the men are accounted for or whatever, just pass through and chat with us at times.”

Police say they have no suspects in the cases, but have launched an intensive investigation.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Taxi drivers fear for their safety”

  1. Lisa says:

    What is Lincoln Webster’s phone number?

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