Cabbie clubbed with hammer in robbery attempt

Cabbie clubbed with hammer in robbery attempt

URBANA — Urbana police are looking for two men who robbed a cab driver Saturday night, striking him in the head with a hammer several times.

Lt. Rich Surles said preliminary information indicates the driver for Yellow Checker Cab picked the men up in the 1400 block of Dublin Street about 7:40 p.m. and drove them several blocks south and east of there.

Surles said one of the men, described as being in their late teens or early 20s, got in the front seat of the van next to the driver, and the other got in a seat behind him. When they asked the driver to pull in to Crystal Lake Park, he refused, instead driving to the 100 block of Park Street.

At that time, the man behind him started hitting him with a hammer, landing an estimated five to seven blows, Surles said.

The cabbie jumped out of the cab and ran to the west trying to get to a public place. The robbers initially chased him, but he soon realized they were no longer behind him. Their last known direction of travel was north. Surles said they did not get cash from the driver but did take a bag from the van.

The cabbie called police at 7:43 p.m. He was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital for treatment and was able to speak to police.

Surles said one of the men was described as being shorter than the other, wearing a black hat, black jacket and khaki pants. The taller of the two had on a blue-and-white horizontal-striped polo shirt and a blue jean jacket.

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annabellissimo wrote on November 04, 2012 at 2:11 am

Presumably you were attempting to give a "racially neutral" description of the suspects, but in so doing, all you gave was a description of CLOTHES.  Clothes can easily be changed. Clothes don't describe a PERSON.  You don't even give hair color or any other distinguishing features.  This is utterly irresponsible vis a vis public safety or in soliciting public help in locating these people, but it does give some kind of absurd "politically correct" non-description description. It's insane. If there have been criticisms that one race has been identified more often, or exclusively, when others have not, the sane response to that is to use skin color for ALL descriptions; not race, but skin color and in all descriptions, not selecting for one race or another.  Skin color is an identifier, just as hair color or eye color, tattoos or speech patterns are.  Is the point to protect sensitivities or to do some kind of public service, public good?

rsp wrote on November 04, 2012 at 2:11 am

Sometimes victims aren't clear about skin color. Commentors think in terms of black and white. People aren't like that. Even trying to describe skin color is difficult. There aren't standards that many people are used to. In my neighborhood there are an infinite number of ways to describe skin color but where I grew up the choices were limited. When the information isn't clear from the victim in the initial report it isn't included in the story. IF the story had stated that the robbers were two black men, with black hair, would you feel compelled to call the police when you saw two black men together? Would that make you really feel safer?

Commonsenseman wrote on November 04, 2012 at 9:11 am

its Urbana what do you expect, the description fits  half the people I know, this is PC gone insane, I have no idea what color these people are, but its important for people to know, thanks  alot for nothing PC people

alabaster jones 71 wrote on November 04, 2012 at 8:11 pm
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Yeah, that's right!  If they had only told us that they were black, then it would be super easy for the public to identify them.  There aren't very many young black males in this area, are there?

JBK wrote on November 04, 2012 at 3:11 pm

This article is blatantly offensive to those of us in the Khaki-Pants-and-Jean-Jackets community. It perpetuates the negative stereotype that we run around and beat people with hammers all day. In the future, I would recommend that the News-Gazette refrain from using clothing as a means of identifying criminal suspects. It is hurtful. Thank you for your time and your future sensitivity.