News

Manchester taximan trailed, stabbed to death

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND Observer staff reporter sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 03, 2014    

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Criminals early yesterday trailed a taxi driver to his home in Belretiro here, where they stabbed him as he entered his bedroom. He ran outside where he collapsed and died.

The blood-stained floor, walls, curtains and bed linen brought some community members to tears when they got news that the 49-year-old taximan, Rupert Taylor, better known as 'Cat', was slain.

According to the Mandeville police, about 12:15 am Taylor parked his vehicle and was walking along a foot path to his home when he was followed by men who stabbed him in the neck as he entered his house.

The injured taxi operator, the police said, managed to run from the house but collapsed shortly after in a potato field, where he died.

A man was later detained by the police and was being questioned last night about Taylor's death.

According to the Mandeville police, even though there was no evidence that anything was stolen from Taylor, who lived alone, robbery was believed to be the motive for the attack.

Elaine Taylor, sister of the deceased, said that her brother had been operating a taxi for several years and was at a loss why someone would want to take his life.

"Dem kill mi brother fi nutten at all... mi loving brother," said the obviously distraught woman.

One of the slain taximan's regular passengers, 13-year-old Jerome Barclay, a student of Villa Road Primary and Junior High, was in tears on the scene as he leaned on his mother for support. He told the Jamaica Observer that even when he did not have taxi fare he could still count on Taylor to take him to and from school.

Colleague taxi operator Merrick Henry said cabbies were a 'target' "because there is a misconception that taximen earn a lot of money. Based upon what we saw, it could happen to any one of us".

Henry said he believed that robbery was the motive for Taylor's death.

Taylor, who fellow taxi operators said worked long hours on the Belretiro to Mandeville route in making his honest bread, was in 2007 attacked and stabbed by schoolboys who had refused to pay their fares. He was unable to work for about three months because of those injuries. And seven years ago, he was shot at by a passenger who refused to pay his fare. He was not injured in that attack.

Taylor's sister said, too, that her brother came home on more than one occasion to find his house ransacked.

Elaine Taylor yesterday appealed to the police to do more spot checks in the Belretiro area.

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