Friday, June 29, 2007

Taxi driver attacked in apartment building

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Friday, June 29, 2007

Local news
- Two teenage girls face criminal charges after a taxi driver was attacked in a north-end apartment building.

Kingston Police said a Modern Taxi driver was dispatched around 12:30 p.m., Wednesday to an apartment building at Cherry and Pine streets where two teenage girls asked him to take them downtown.

When the pair realized they had no money, they asked to be taken back to the apartment building so they could borrow some.

One of the girls went inside and moments later the other followed without paying the $13 cab fare, a news release from police said.

The driver ran after the girls and found them in a hallway and called his dispatcher. As he did this, the release said, the girls kicked and screamed at the cabby and began to fight with him.

One of them tried to bite his arm while the other kicked and scratched him with her finger nails, the release said.

Police soon arrived and arrested both girls, who continued to verbally abuse the officers.

Two 16-year-olds, both from Kingston, have been charged with transportation fraud and assault. One of the girls also faces a breach of probation charge.

Knife found near site where taxi abandoned

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Rob Tripp
Friday, June 29, 2007

Local News
- Three days after the killing of a Kingston cab driver, a knife was found in the grass surrounding the apartment complex where the man's taxi was abandoned, the Whig-Standard has learned.

Police have been tight-lipped about their investigation and have not disclosed the finding, made on the evening of Wednesday, June 20.

The senior official in charge of the investigation, Det. Sgt. Bill Kennedy, could not be reached yesterday.

Amey's cab driver David Krick, 50, was left bleeding on a sidewalk on Durham Street early Sunday morning, June 17, after picking up a male passenger on Wright Crescent, near the YMCA.

Krick was stabbed in the chest several times. He was pronounced dead at hospital.

His attacker took his taxi on a circuitous, seven-minute ride through suburban neighbourhoods before abandoning the car in the parking lot of the An Clachan apartment complex on MacPherson Avenue, just off Van Order Drive.

The killer fled on foot and eluded police, who arrived soon after he parked, investigators have said.

The maze-like complex of three-storey apartment buildings houses mostly married, international students attending Queen's University. Several hundred students live there.

Attiya Alatery, a Libyan student who is completing a PhD at Queen's, said he did not see the knife, but saw police and building staff sealing off an area on the northeast side of the building.

"They brought out the yellow [tape]," Alatery said in an interview yesterday.

A fellow tenant explained to him that children found the object.

"He told me his son and other kids, they were playing in the area and they found the knife," said Alatery, who lives in the complex with his wife and two young children.

The building superintendent was notified and police were called. The knife was apparently covered with a pail or bucket to protect it from contamination, although a thunderstorm had soaked the city a day earlier.

The knife was found roughly 100 metres from the spot where Krick's taxi was abandoned and in an area not more than 10 or 15 metres from one of the main entrances to the apartment complex.

It was not hidden in bushes or long grass. The grassy area where it was found is part of a greenbelt that rings the apartments.

Police have said that the suspect was last seen running south through the complex, after abandoning Krick's taxi in the northeast corner of the parking lot that abuts MacPherson Avenue.

That path would have taken the suspect toward the area where the knife was found.

The superintendent of the complex declined to be interviewed.

It's unclear why police have refused to disclose the discovery of the knife, since the finding is now well known among tenants of the apartments.

In murder probes, police usually withhold some information from the public that they believe is known only to the perpetrator, that can be used later to verify an account.

Alatery said all of the tenants received a letter from Queen's assuring them that the suspect is not believed to be a tenant of the buildings.

"[There's] nothing to be scared of," Alatery said they have been told.

The killing of Krick, 50, is believed to be the first slaying of a Kingston cab driver.

Police have said that they believe the killing was random, since the caller who asked for an Amey's taxi .did not request Krick.

Krick activated a silent alarm button at 6:45 a.m., nine minutes after he picked up the passenger on Wright Crescent.

The precise movements of his car were tracked by the Amey's dispatcher because all of the company's cars are equipped with global positioning units, a form of satellite tracking technology.

Police have released a general description of the suspect as a white male, aged 20 to 30, between five foot 10 and six foot two inches tall with a slim to medium build and short hair.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Teenage girls face charges after cabby attack

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Website

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Local News
- Two teenage girls face criminal charges after a taxi driver was attacked in a north-end apartment building yesterday.

Kingston Police said a Modern Taxi driver was dispatched around 12:30 p.m. to an apartment building at Cherry and Pine streets where two girls asked him to take them downtown.

When the pair realized they had no money, they asked to be taken back to the apartment building so they could borrow some.

One of the girls went inside and moments later the other followed without paying the $13 cab fair, a release from police said.

The driver ran after the girls and found them in a hallway and called his dispatcher. As he did this, the release said, the girls kicked and screamed at the cabby and began to fight with him.

One of them tried to bit his arm while the other kicked and scratched him with her finger nails, the release said.

Police soon arrived and arrested both girls, who continued to verbally abuse the officers.

Two 16 year olds, both from Kingston, have been charged with transportation fraud and assault. One of them also faces a breach of probation charge.

Frustrated cabbies want action; But taxi agency sets up committee

From the Kingston Whig-Standard

Rob Tripp
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Local News
- There'll be no quick fix for safety concerns of Kingston taxi drivers.

A week-and-a-half after cabbie David Krick was slain, the agency that regulates the industry in Kingston met yesterday for the first time.

Safety was debated for roughly five minutes during an hour-long meeting, long enough only for the Kingston Area Taxi Commission to set up a 12-member committee to study safety options and report back by mid-August.

"They did that because they'll calm down and then nothing will be done," Derek Barager, a driver and taxi owner said in an interview after the meeting.

Barager and his wife, Amy Wright, who also drives a cab, came to the meeting expecting to hear a discussion about safety measures.

"I thought this meeting was supposed to focus on what happened to Mr. Krick," said Barager, one of about a dozen taxi industry spectators at the meeting.

On Father's Day, the veteran Kingston driver picked up a male passenger on Wright Crescent near the YMCA just after 6:30 a.m. The man stabbed Krick in the chest several times and left him, bleeding on a sidewalk on Durham Street, before stealing his taxi.

Krick, 50, was pronounced dead in hospital. Police have not made an arrest.

"I never considered my job dangerous until now," Wright said. "Now I'm questioning everybody that hops into my cab."

Driver and owner Dennis Keefe, who was appointed to the committee, said he expected some serious debate yesterday.

"It's ridiculous," he said. "I think it should [be] done a whole lot sooner than that."

Amey's taxi company owner Mark Greenwood, who will sit on the committee, said the group has to consider the opinions of drivers and owners, look at what is being done in other communities and talk to suppliers of safety gear.

"I think you need this much time," Greenwood said, in order to make the right decision.

Modern owner Keith Campbell and Amherst owner Doug Cox also are on the committee.

"I think that a safety barrier would have saved Dave Krick's life," said Roy Ambury, a longtime driver and one of three who were standing together and chatting after the commission meeting.

"I'm not voting for it," said driver and owner Lillian Dunlop. "I do not want a barrier."

Seventeen-year veteran driver Ed Vervuuvt said he's made up his mind.

"The barrier is the only surefire way to protect yourself," Vervuuvt said.

Ten years ago, Vervuuvt picked up two nervous young men on York Street. One got in the backseat, the other sat beside him. They pretended that they were waiting for a third man.

Vervuuvt felt what seemed a slight brush or tickle on his neck.

"I was reaching up to scratch and saw the spark and felt the jolt," he said.

The backseat passenger had pressed some sort of electrical stun device on his neck.

Vervuuvt's body spasmed and his arms flailed, striking the front seat passenger in the face.

Startled by the reaction, the would-be robbers fled without taking anything.

Both Ambury and Dunlop were appointed to the safety committee.

Dunlop said shields or barriers that separate drivers from passengers aren't a guarantee of safety and they will curtail personal contact and erode customer service.

Three years ago, Ambury had a close call after a backseat passenger tried to rob him.

"He put his left arm around the front of my neck and held a knife to the back of my neck and demanded my money," Ambury recalled.

The driver pushed the knife away and tricked the man out of the taxi. He escaped with minor cuts to his palm.

Ambury was disappointed that there was no safety discussion yesterday, although he said this might be the best way to handle the issue.

The committee studying safety will meet for the first time July 3. It is scheduled to report to the taxi commission by Aug. 15.


Committee of 12 appointed

The Kingston Area Taxi Commission appointed 12 people yesterday to study possible safety improvements for cabs. They are:

Doug Teeple (from commission)
Linda Wood (from commission)
William Percy (from commission)
Mark Greenwood (Amey's)
Doug Cox (Amherst)
Keith Campbell (Modern)
Merle Harper
Dennis Keefe
Lillian Dunlop
Roy Ambury
Leo Ferneyhough
Debra Timmons

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cab safety in question following driver's death

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Rob Tripp
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Local news
- The killing of a Kingston cabbie has pushed the issue of driver safety to the top of the industry agenda, says the area's taxi inspector.

Dave Kennedy said he's investigating safety measures being employed in other Ontario cities, in anticipation of an emotional debate in Kingston.

"It's the talk of the town now with what went on," Kennedy said.

The seven-member Kingston Area Taxi Commission meets today for the first time since the murder of David Krick on June 17.

The 50-year-old veteran driver was stabbed to death by a passenger he picked up early Father's Day morning. Police have not made an arrest in what is believed to be the city's first taxi driver killing.

At today's meeting, commissioners will review safety options that are available and are in use in other cities. Cameras will be mandatory in all Ottawa cabs by Jan. 1. They became mandatory in Toronto cabs last year. Cameras and shields are mandatory in cabs in Winnipeg.

Kennedy said he can't find any city in Ontario that has mandated the use of shields, typically plexiglass dividers that separate drivers in some way from backseat passengers.

They are common in large American cities and there is evidence that they dramatically reduce robberies and killings.

No safety equipment is mandatory in Kingston taxis.

"That's something that's never been done," Kennedy said. "We can make it mandatory for everybody to have cameras, but there's going to be a cost issue."

The commission also has the power, he said, to impose surcharges to help pay for new safety equipment.

"It could be something that could be done," he said. "It'd be a big step."

He said he's not sure there's industry support for shields.

Drivers cite concern about losing personal contact with customers and owners are worried about costs and reduced passenger space in small cars.

Other options include flashing lights located on the exterior of a taxi. A driver would activate the lights during an emergency, signalling to anyone who sees the car to call 911.

Safety advocates and researchers say shields and cameras are the best protection for cab drivers.

The chairman of the taxi commission, Ken Matthews, has said he wants to hear from people in the industry before moving ahead with any measures.

Krick's taxi, like all of the roughly 70 Amey's cars, was equipped with a global positioning system that allows the dispatcher to route calls electronically. The system permits the dispatcher to track the car's movement and speed.

Police used the GPS data to reconstruct the taxi's movements that morning, showing that he picked up his passenger at 6:36 a.m. on Wright Crescent, near the YMCA.

Krick was working the most dangerous shift, overnight, even though he was likely well aware of the risks.

He was interviewed by the Whig-Standard two years ago, after the downtown nightclub murder of Justin Schwieg, a 23-year-old Queen's student who was stabbed to death in March 2005 inside AJ's Hangar, since renamed the Ale House.

Krick, interviewed because he had been driving a cab for many years, said Kingston seemed to be experiencing more big-city violence.

"It just seems to be getting worse every year," Krick told the newspaper.

He questioned why party-goers were carrying weapons.

"The police are going to have to start patrolling this area better," he said.

Det. Sgt. Bill Kennedy said tips that might help police solve Krick's killing are still flowing.

"We are getting a number of tips and obviously we have to investigate each and every one of them and that's what we're doing," he said.

He would not say if any of the tips are promising.

Kennedy is the case manager, supervising six investigators who are working on the murder full time.

"There's nothing going on right now that we want to release to the media," he said.

Police are still waiting for forensic test results from Krick's taxi, Amey's car 71.

The blood-smeared vehicle was abandoned at an apartment complex on MacPherson Avenue Sunday morning, 15 minutes after Krick picked up his passenger and was stabbed.

Police arrived at the complex to see a suspect running from the taxi, but he eluded them.

Kennedy said an OPP tracking dog was brought in.

"He didn't lead us to anybody," he said. "I don't think he was able to pick up a trail."

Kennedy said it is a difficult location for a dog to pick up a trail, particularly because the suspect ran through a large asphalt parking lot.

It's believed Krick's slaying was a random act, since he wasn't requested by the caller who asked for a cab on Wright Crescent.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Homicide Investigation

From the Kingston Police Department website:

Kingston Police are requesting the assistance of the public in an ongoing investigation into the murder of taxi driver David Krick. On Sunday, June 17th 2007 (Father's Day) the victim, who was driving Amey's taxi #71, a four-door white Chevrolet Impala, picked-up a fare outside of the YMCA on Wright Cres. at approximately 6:30am.

Between 6:45am and 7:00am the taxi made its way to the area of Durham St near Victoria St. This is where the victim was stabbed and succumbed to his injuries. The suspect, who has yet to be identified, drove away in the stolen taxi. The suspect ended up parking the vehicle in the lot of 19 MacPherson Ave., located off of Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd. He was last seen by police fleeing southbound on foot through the grounds of the An Clachan Complex.

The suspect is roughly described as a white male, 20-30 years of age, 5'10" to 6'2" tall, slim to medium build, short hair. He was possibly wearing a black shirt, jeans and black shoes.

The route taken by the suspect while in the taxi is known to Kingston Police, which is provided in the map below. Anyone who lives or frequents any of the streets marked along the route and believes that they saw the taxi or anything in relation to it are asked to contact the Major Crime Unit at 613-549-4660 or email at You can also call toll-free at 1-888-KPF-TIPS (1-888-573-8477).

Please click here to download a copy of the police bulletin and route map.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A dangerous job, no safety training

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Rob Tripp
Saturday, June 23, 2007

Local News
- Veteran Kingston cabbie Gary Buckingham tapped his left eyebrow with an extended first finger.

"I had my face slashed about 18 years ago," he said, pointing to a thin white scar where his brow once gaped open and blood streamed down his face.

He was picking up revellers after a Christmas party. A man became incensed when Buckingham said his car was full and the man would have to wait for another taxi.

The guy flipped out, recalled Buckingham, sitting behind the wheel of Amey's car 22.

"He jumped on top of the car and grabbed the top sign," he said.

The man swung a piece of the plastic sign into the open driver's side window, striking Buckingham above the eye.

"I got out to get at him and he hit me so hard with the door that he knocked me senseless."

The attacker was subdued, police were called and Buckingham was stitched up. Nearly two decades later, he still enjoys driving a cab and is philosophical about the risks, despite the killing of a fellow Amey's driver six days ago, in what is likely the first cabbie murder in Kingston.

"The best self-defence is common sense," he said.

Buckingham avoids "bad addresses" and "bad fares," the people who are known in the industry as troublemakers.

There's no safety training program for cabbies.

"There's just the school of hard knocks," he said.

There are no mandatory safety measures in Kingston taxis. No cars, in any of the city's firms, are outfitted with cameras or partitions, safety gear now prevalent in many big city taxis across North America.

Although assaults and robberies of Kingston cabbies aren't unusual, Buckingham isn't sure new safety measures are needed. The partitions, plexiglass screens that partially or fully separate passengers from the driver, would be costly, he believes.

"It's going to have to come out in [increased] fares and I don't think customers are willing to swallow it," he said.

Some drivers believe partitions and other safety improvements are long overdue.

"Where it stands right now, the taxi industry doesn't [care] about our safety," driver Dennis Keefe said, the day his friend David Krick was murdered.

Krick, 50, a veteran Amey's driver, died on Father's Day, after he was stabbed in the chest several times by a man he picked up on Wright Crescent near the YMCA just after 6:30 a.m.

The murder was foreseeable, said Terry Smythe, a Winnipeg man who has crusaded for cabbie safety.

A retired member of the Manitoba Taxi Cab Board, the agency that regulates the industry in Winnipeg, Smythe said taxi industry leaders and regulators in Kingston should have anticipated such a tragedy.

"It's absolutely shameful that it takes a murder to produce a response," he said.

Safety improvements are shunned, he said, because people in the business don't want to spend the money necessary to protect drivers, who are in abundant supply.

"What [they] get is a relentless supply of people prepared to put themselves in harm's way," he said.

Taxi driving is the most dangerous occupation in the world, he believes.

Numbers from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics back the claim.

The centre, using police figures, tracks homicides by occupation.

Between 1995 and 2005, 25 Canadian taxi drivers were murdered, more than any other legal occupation.

The second-highest occupational homicide level is among police officers. In the same 10-year period, 18 police officers were killed.

A national study completed in 1996, funded by the Justice Department, found that the victimization of taxi drivers may be 20 times higher than Canadians generally.

Hundreds of drivers were interviewed for the study. More than half indicated that they did not think their employers took seriously enough the risks they face.

The best safety measures, Smythe said, are in-cab cameras and safety shields or partitions. The cameras must be highly visible, to act as a deterrent.

It is easy, he said, for regulators to make the measures mandatory and impose a small, short-term surcharge to pay for them. Both should be installed at the same time.

There's evidence that the measures work.

In Winnipeg, cameras became mandatory in 2002, after a spate of violent attacks on cabbies and murders. Shields became mandatory by 2003. Robberies of cabbies dropped nearly 80 per cent, compared to 2001. There has not been a murder of a Winnipeg cabbie since.

In 1999, Toronto required all cabs to have cameras or global positioning systems.

Assaults and robberies declined significantly. Last year, cameras became mandatory in all Toronto taxis, but a debate about making shields mandatory in all cars is unresolved.

Two Toronto cabbies have been murdered in the past two years.

Almost all cabs and delivery vehicles in New York City have shields or cameras. In the early '90s, before the measures were in place, 30 to 40 New York cabbies were murdered each year. Now murders are rare.

Only Amey's taxis in Kingston are equipped with the global positioning systems that track a taxi's location. Smythe said it is not a safety measure.

"All it tells you is where to find the dead driver," he said.

Since most taxi passengers don't know the cars have GPS, it serves no deterrent purpose, Smythe said.

Kingston Police have said that the GPS information provided by Amey's has been invaluable in tracing the movements of Krick's killer.

The power to impose mandatory safety measures falls to the Kingston area taxi commission, an independent body established by provincial law.

It is overseen by a seven-member board. The commission issues licences and administers tests to drivers.

There are roughly 200 licensed taxis in the area.

Longtime member and chairman Ken Matthews wants to hear what people who work in the industry think should be done.

"I'm a great believer that those who work in the industry know the industry," he said.

The commission meets next week and is expected to discuss safety.

"Everybody's very emotional," Matthews said.

He's not sure there's strong support for the installation of shields.

"The drivers don't want to be boxed in with this plexiglass across the back," he said.

Former taxi driver Doug Teeple, recently appointed to the commission, believes some drivers want the partitions, but overall the local industry does not.

"If they do want them, believe me, I will fight for it," he said.

Mark Greenwood, owner of Amey's, said this is a sad week for the industry, but there's lots of talk about safety.

"I'm willing to look at anything that will make our drivers more secure," he said.

Debby Timmons, who has worked as a dispatcher and driver for roughly 20 years, said new measures are needed.

"I think the shields are great protection, however I don't think the industry here can support that," she said.

She said retrofitting small taxis with shields will limit the number of passengers that can be carried.

She favours a system that allows a driver to lock her two-way radio into the transmit position in an emergency, so that a dispatcher can hear what is happening in the car.

In Barrie, municipal authorities have offered a $50 rebate to all cab owners who install a flashing light on the exterior of the car. It can be activated by the driver in an emergency, signalling to anyone who sees the taxi that the driver needs help.

"I think that's the stupidest thing," said Erwin Giles, owner of Barrie Taxi, the region's largest cab company.

Giles fears that a driver who parks his or her car close to a building and then activates the light will only escalate a confrontation, since the flashing light would be visible to a taxi passenger, particularly at night.

Giles said he's about to test in-cab cameras in two of his taxis.

The cars will be equipped with a three-camera array, including one camera that looks forward out of the taxi.

"I see them as a real great safety measure," he said.

At $1,500 per car, it will cost him $120,000 to equip his 80-car fleet, but he expects he will put the cameras in all cars once the test is done.

The measure comes six years after one of Giles' drivers was murdered.

Gary Newman, a 49-year-old father of four, was stabbed to death after picking up a passenger who called from a phone booth on the outskirts of Barrie late at night.

A 25-year-old man was caught two years later and convicted.

The killing, the second Barrie taxi-driver murder in an eight-year span, did not spark demands for more security, Giles said, since people in the industry understand the risks.

"In this business, you never know," he said.

After Newman's murder in 2001, the company installed a voice-recording system for all incoming calls to the dispatch centre and also installed GPS in all taxis.

Giles said he doesn't believe there's any support for shields.

"Nobody wants them, they're too impersonal," he said. "It takes away the customer service thing."

In Guelph, a city about the size of Kingston, there are no safety measures in taxis.

None of the more than 40 Red Top taxis has shields and just one car has a camera, installed by its owner.

"We don't have a lot of problems," said president Mike Humphries.

Red Top cars also use GPS.

Humphries said they have a practice that they believe is a valuable safety technique. Drivers are instructed to frequently drop money at the office to ensure they carry only a small amount of cash. The fact is well known in the community, to deter thieves seeking a big score.

"The best thing you can do," he said.

Despite the measures, drivers remain targets.

"About two months ago, we had a driver robbed at knifepoint," he said. The driver was not hurt and the robber was caught by police.

Kingston Police are still hunting David Krick's killer.

David Krick murder
Police seek public's help

Anyone with information can call the Major Crime Unit at 613-549-4660; 1-888-573-8477; Email

A map of the route David Krick's car followed is on the Kingston Police website,

Slain cabbie laid to rest; Taxi drivers form cortege to grave site

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Ian Elliot
Saturday, June 23, 2007

Local News
- Both of David Krick's families turned out for his funeral yesterday morning.

There was his immediate family in the front row of pews in the Tompkins Funeral Chapel on Colborne Street. Filling the back chairs and the streets around the funeral home was what his sister-in-law, Robyn Lawlor, called his "taxi family," scores of city cabbies who booked off to honour their fellow driver and travel with him to his grave in Elginburg.

Krick, 50, who drove for Amey's, was stabbed to death by a fare he picked up early Sunday morning on Wright Crescent. Most of the city's cab drivers took time out from picking up fares to attend his funeral.

That left the city's streets nearly empty of taxis as vehicles and drivers from all the city's cab companies clogged the streets around the funeral home prior to following the hearse up Division Street shortly before noon.

"This was the right thing to do," said driver Dennis Robinson, who was among many groups of drivers who stood on the street surrounding the funeral home.

"Not everybody is here but most are. Customers are going to have a wait, but I think most are going to understand."

Several of the city's cab companies imposed radio silence for 10 minutes at 11 a.m., the time the funeral began. During that period, as a gesture of respect for Krick, dispatchers did not send out calls.

The feeling of family was evident among the drivers, who spoke candidly of the dangers of their jobs and what they saw as the senselessness of Krick's death.

Statistically, taxi drivers in Canada are more at risk of being killed on the job than police officers. The drivers, many of whom knew Krick, as he had worked as a cabbie for decades, and most of whom have had their own encounters with drunken or violent passengers, said that robbery could not have been a motive.

"It was 7 a.m. in the morning, he wouldn't have had more than $20 or $30 in his float," noted Robinson.

"He wouldn't have had anything."

Longtime cabbie Doug Robinson, the former owner of Kingston and Amherst Taxi Company, said Krick's death was a saddening reminder of the dangers that cab drivers face and that it hit each one personally.

"There's no words to describe it," he said.

"You never know who you're going to pick up. You hope for the best, and there are a lot of good people in the world, but you never know."

Oscar Henault, a war veteran, said cabbies face danger every time they start their shifts.

"I was shot at several times when I was flying and it wasn't as dangerous as this job," he said, taking a drag on a cigarette as he stood outside the funeral home.

"And people wonder why we smoke."

The death hit Henault quite hard as he not only knew Krick but was on duty for Kingston and Amherst on Sunday morning in the same zone as the Amey's driver.

"If he hadn't called the other company, I would have been the one who answered that call," he said.

Doug Cox, the current owner of the Kingston and Amherst company, said drivers are just trying to make a living doing an often-thankless job and few would pass up the chance to pay their respects to Krick, described as a quiet and mild-mannered man who continued to drive a cab because he genuinely enjoyed the job even when he had other jobs.

"These are working guys who are out there just trying to make a dollar," he said.

"We're going to be having some discussions on safety, but that's something we'll be doing in the future.

"Right now it's a time to mourn."

Rev. Terry Deline, who conducted Krick's funeral service in front of an overflowing chapel, called his death "sickening and heart-rending" but pleaded for compassion for the persons responsible.

Kingston Police have not yet made an arrest in the case but say they have suspects.

"The person or persons who did this will carry this on their consciences all the days of their lives," said Deline, who himself drove for Amey's when he was a young man.

"I ask you to pray for them so that they will be free from their murderous, evil ways."

His sister-in-law remembered how much Krick loved his job, and said it added to the tragedy that he died doing what he loved.

Robyn Lawlor thanked police, friends and most of all what she termed the city's "taxi family" for their support over the past week, in a eulogy that caused many of the street-hardened cabbies who attended the ceremony, some in black suits and others in their work clothes, to sniffle and weep openly in the chapel.

"David will continue to ride with each and every one of you," she told the crowded hall, as she herself began to break down.

"God bless each and every one of you."

Police Chief Bill Closs attended yesterday's service and spent several minutes talking with Krick's family in the back of the funeral limousine.

The investigation is a high-profile one for the city force, and he vowed to the family that the case would be resolved, and said afterwards that despite the often contentious relationship between cabbies and city police, the force relies on their eyes and ears.

"A lot of people don't know it, but taxi drivers help us out every single day by reporting things that they see or hear," Closs said.

He said he wanted to show his support for the entire fleet of city drivers, and said whoever was responsible for Krick's death would be brought to justice.

"I wanted to reassure the family, and I will repeat it, that the person or persons who did this will never enjoy another night of rest," he said.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Police seek help; Details released of taxi's route

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Rob Tripp
Friday, June 22, 2007

Local News
- A taxi passenger who killed a Kingston cabbie on Father's Day spent 14 and a half minutes from pickup to stabbing to getaway.

A detailed timeline of the killing of cabbie David Krick was released yesterday by police, along with other new details and in concert with an appeal for public help.

Police say they believe the 50-year-old Amey's cabbie was stabbed on Durham Street and left there to die by an attacker who stole his taxi, number 71, a white Chevrolet Impala.

No arrest has been made.

"I'm not going to comment on any suspects at this time," said Det. Bill Kennedy, who is in charge of the investigation.

Until now, police had not said definitively that Krick was stabbed on Durham Street, a short, mostly residential road that is parallel to and just south of Princess Street in midtown.

Kennedy confirmed what the Whig-Standard reported previously, that Krick likely was the victim of a random attack.

"A call comes into the taxi stand and a taxi is dispatched to it and they don't ask for any driver in particular, then you tell me, random, yeah," Kennedy said.

Krick accepted a dispatch at 6:33 a.m. Sunday to pick up a passenger on Wright Crescent near the YMCA. At the time, Krick was at the corner of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard and Princess Street.

Another Amey's driver found Krick lying on the sidewalk in front of a home on Durham Street just before 7 a.m. He was bleeding profusely from several stab wounds to his chest.

He was pronounced dead at hospital.

Krick's taxi, smeared with blood on the right rear exterior, was abandoned roughly eight blocks away, at an apartment complex off Van Order Drive, where a suspect fled on foot, eluding pursuing police. The man was last seen by police fleeing south through the grounds of the An Clachan complex, a labyrinth of low-rise buildings on MacPherson Avenue.

Kennedy said police did not pursue the taxi.

"The taxi was parked when we came on it," he said. "There was no chase, there was no pursuit.

"We chased after a man running from it."

Kennedy could not say whether the suspect fled inside the buildings or ran through the complex.

"He disappeared," Kennedy said.

Investigators released a detailed map yesterday that traces the route Krick's taxi took that morning, based on satellite tracking data provided by the cab company.

All Amey's taxis are equipped with global positioning units that monitor location and speed.

The information shows that Krick picked up his passenger on Wright Crescent at 6:36 a.m., then headed east along Park Street to Durham. The trip took more than eight minutes for a relatively short distance.

Kennedy would not say if police have any information to indicate the significance of that time.

"They're just poking along," he said. "Who knows what was going on in the taxi at that time."

Krick pressed an emergency button in his cab at roughly 6:45 a.m., signalling to his dispatcher that he had a problem.

After Krick was stabbed, the suspect headed south on Victoria Street and jogged along other side streets all the way to Union, where he turned around and headed north on College to Brock, where he turned west and headed for the apartment complex.

The circuitous trip took roughly six minutes. If the suspect intended to travel to the apartment complex, he shunned more direct and faster routes.

Kennedy said he can't explain the strange path the taxi followed.

Amey's owner Mark Greenwood has said that his dispatcher was on the phone with police that morning, giving them a turn-by-turn account of the cab's movements.

Police ask that anyone who lives on the streets the taxi travelled, or who frequents the areas and believes they saw the car or has any other information, call them.

Kennedy said the taxi is still undergoing forensic analysis. He could not say how long it will take.

Police released a slightly more detailed description of a suspect; a white male, 20 to 30 years old, between five-foot-10 and six-foot-two tall, with a slim to medium build and short hair. He was possibly wearing a black shirt, jeans, and black shoes.

David Krick was to be buried this morning after a funeral at 11 a.m. in the chapel at Tompkins Funeral Home on Colborne Street.

Can you help?

Kingston Police are asking for public assistance to solve the slaying of cab driver David Krick, 50, who was stabbed to death Sunday.

Tips can be sent to:; call the major crime unit at 549-4660 or toll-free at 1-888-573-8477.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

‘Weekend of knives’ claims cabbie

From the Kingston This Week website

Lynn Rees Lambert
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Local News
- Call it bloody Sunday.

Kingston Police coped with one of the most violent weekends in recent memory with the murder of a Kingston cab driver, a stabbing inside a shopping mall and a knife-point holdup at a downtown drugstore June 17.

“It was the weekend of the knives,” says Sgt. Bill Kennedy, the lead investigator into the murder of 50-year-old David Krick, who was found stabbed on a mid-city street early Sunday morning.

It was the city’s first homicide of the year.

Kennedy says he cannot ever recall a three-in-one-day crime spree and local cabbies say this is the first time one of their own has been murdered.

The series of unrelated events claimed the life of a veteran Amey’s driver who was mortally wounded and left to die on a Durham Street sidewalk Sunday at about 6:45 a.m.

The murder has plunged the cab company, with about 170 full and part-time drivers, into shock, says Amey’s Taxi owner Mark Greenwood.

“The oldtimers tell me they’ve never lost a cabbie like this.”

Greenwood described Krick as a mild-mannered man who lived with his mother and sister on York Street.

Krick had been driving since he was 19, says Greenwood, describing him as “a good guy. The whole cab industry is in shock, disbelief.”

Police have not determined if the victim was stabbed while in the Impala or outside.

A weapon has not been found.

“The whole thing happened within minutes,” Greenwood explains, “less than about six minutes from the time Dave hit the silent alarm to when other drivers converged.”

Global Positioning System devices were installed last November in all cabs, says the owner.

“When he hit the alarm, our dispatcher was able to track the car in real time.” And, he says, “since there are more taxis out there than police cars, our cabs zoomed in.”

Fellow cabbies found Krick, bleeding on the ground on Durham Street, near Princess and Victoria streets.

His car had been stolen. Police arrived seconds later.

Krick was taken to Kingston General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, other police officers were guided by Amey’s dispatcher Ken Osborn, who informed police “where the car was, where it was turning, idling and where it stopped,” explains Greenwood.

Police tracked the stolen vehicle to Van Order Drive where they saw a suspect abandon the car and run into an apartment complex to allude police.

“Ken’s actions are to be commended,” says Greenwood, “as are the actions of all our drivers who responded.”

The incident has severely shaken the employees.

“This was horrific,” Greenwood says of the scene Krick’s fellow cabbies found.

Grief counsellors are going into the office Wednesday for assistance, he adds.

Sgt. Kennedy says the investigation has not revealed a motive for the slaying. A few tips have come in but police have not laid any charges.

“It was quite early Sunday morning,” he says, meaning the streets were quiet and few witnesses were out.

Police have not released a detailed description of the suspect who fled from the stolen cab. They describe him only as a young white male, who is tall and slim.

Police ask that anyone with information about the crime to call the station at 613 549-4660 or call Crime Stoppers at 613 634-8477.

At Amey’s Taxi, “our efforts are toward supporting the family,” says Greenwood. “We are taking donations for Mrs. Krick, as Dave helped his mother.”

Drugstore clerk held at knifepoint

The violence continued the same day when a Shoppers Drug Mart employee was held up at knifepoint and held hostage in a back room.

The incident began at 11:30 a.m., June 17, at the drug store at 136 Princess St. when a woman walked an employee at knifepoint to a safe in a back room. The employee opened the safe and the accused rummaged through the contents. The robbery was interrupted by another employee.

The accused grabbed a quantity of pills and fled. Staff called 911. Patrol officers found the suspect at Queen and Bagot streets where she had just swallowed a quantity of unknown pills.

Officers recovered the knife used in the incident and two bottles of pills. The accused was taken to KGH where she was treated and released back to police custody.

A 42-year-old woman was charged with robbery, forcible confinement, possession of a dangerous weapon, assault with a weapon, and two counts of breach of undertaking.

Man stabbed at mall

Later that day, at about 3:45 p.m., a verbal exchange between two men inside the Cataraqui Town Centre led to a stabbing.

Police say the suspect, armed with a six-inch steak knife, stabbed the victim near the Tim Hortons shop. The victim walked away from the mall bleeding from the abdomen while the accused wandered through the mall “bragging and laughing that he had just stabbed someone,” according to police.

Regional ambulance was called to the scene. The victim’s injuries were not life threatening.

The accused was quickly located.

A 22-year-old Kingston man was charged with assault with a weapon, possession of a dangerous weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and two counts of breach of probation.

In Memoriam

KRICK, David Wayne

Amey's Taxi Driver - Suddenly, on Sunday, June 17, 2007 in his 51st year. David was the loving son of Shirley (nee Lisqum) and the late Norman Krick. Beloved brother of Raymond and his wife Robyn, and Brenda. He will be sadly missed by his niece Cheryl and nephew Justin. Friends will be received at the CENTRAL CHAPEL of the GORDON F. TOMPKINS FUNERAL HOMES, 49 Colborne Street (at Clergy) on Wednesday from 7 - 9 p.m. and Thursday between the hours of 3 - 5 and 7 - 9 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held in our chapel on Friday at 11 a.m. Interment to follow at Glenhaven Memorial Gardens. Memorial donations for those wishing may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Attack on cabbie likely random

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Rob Tripp
Thursday, June 21, 2007

Local News
- A Kingston cab driver who was murdered by a passenger likely was the victim of a random attack and was not targeted, the Whig-Standard has learned.

David Krick, 50, was left bleeding on a sidewalk on Durham Street early Sunday morning, after picking up a male passenger on Wright Crescent, near the YMCA.

Krick was stabbed in the chest several times. He was pronounced dead at hospital. Police have not made an arrest.

The newspaper learned that the caller who requested a taxi did not ask for Krick or his car, No. 71, by number.

Regular taxi users sometimes request a favourite driver or car. If Krick had been requested, it might have indicated he was being targeted.

Kingston Police have said little about the progress of their investigation, except that they have suspects.

Krick activated his meter at 6:44 a.m. Sunday and within a few minutes pressed a silent alarm button that notified a dispatcher that he was in trouble.

The precise movements of his car were tracked by the Amey's dispatcher because all of the company's cars are equipped with global positioning units, a form of satellite tracking technology.

The Whig also learned that before the Amey's dispatcher could call police, police called the cab company because they had received a 911 phone call.

It's unclear who placed the 911 call. Police have not disclosed that the call was made.

It appears that Krick was forced out or escaped from his taxi on Durham Street, where he ended up lying on the sidewalk in front of a private home, bleeding from his stab wounds.

His attacker took the cab and drove west, abandoning the car at an apartment complex on Van Order Drive and fleeing on foot. He eluded pursuing police officers.

Blood was smeared around the right rear passenger side of the car and around the right rear window. Several bloody fingerprints could be seen on the taxi.

The car is undergoing forensic examination.

Krick was found on Durham Street by another taxi driver.

All of Amey's cabs are notified when a driver presses the emergency button.

Amey's owner Mark Greenwood would not name the driver who found Krick. The man is off work, traumatized by his experience.

"We've got grief counsellors coming in," Greenwood said yesterday. Some affected staff have said they will accept the firm's offer to see a counsellor.

Krick may be the first taxi driver murdered while on duty in Kingston, although it is not a rare occurrence across Canada.

According to Statistics Canada, 11 taxi drivers were murdered between 2001 and 2005, while 10 police officers were murdered on duty in the same period.

Krick will be buried tomorrow in a public funeral being held at the chapel at Tompkins Funeral Home on Colborne Street, beginning at 11 a.m.

Visitation began yesterday and continues today between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Early yesterday, Krick's mother Shirley, 70, was steeling herself for the events to come.

"I just dread going over to that funeral home," she said. "My baby's over there."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

'Everyone's been so great'; Family prepares to bury driver with killer at large

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Rob Tripp
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Local news
- Police are searching for clues to the killer of a Kingston cab driver in the victim's taxi.

The blood-smeared car was found roughly eight blocks away from David Krick, 50, who was murdered early Sunday morning.

Brenda Krick, the victim's sister, said the family has been told by police that "the car is being sent for high-tech forensic investigation."

Police have told them little else about the investigation, except that they have suspects, she said.

It is typical in a homicide probe that investigators would attempt to find hairs, fibres and organic material in a vehicle that that might later provide a DNA match to a suspect or lead to a suspect during the investigation.

The Amey's cabbie picked up a single male passenger on Wright Crescent just before 6:45 a.m. Sunday. A few minutes later, Krick activated a silent alarm that notified his dispatcher of an emergency.

Minutes later, Krick was found lying on the sidewalk in front of a home on Durham Street, bleeding profusely from several stab wounds to his chest.

He was pronounced dead at hospital.

His taxi was apparently stolen by his attacker and abandoned at an apartment complex on Van Order Drive.

Because the car was equipped with satellite tracking technology, its movements were monitored by staff at the Amey's dispatch centre. A detailed report showing the car's route that morning, speed and stops was given to police by the taxi company.

Police followed the car to the apartment building but a suspect eluded them on foot.

Blood smears and bloody fingerprints were visible on the rear passenger side of the taxi. It's unclear if Krick was stabbed in the car.

It is likely that forensic investigators are looking for blood throughout the vehicle and attempting to extract a DNA profile from the blood on the car's exterior.

Brenda Krick wonders if the bloody fingerprints belong to her brother, indicating perhaps that he was stabbed while he was outside the car, on the passenger side.

"Maybe the guy got mouthy with my brother, my brother wanted him to get out, he stopped the car and went around to that side," she said. Krick said the body was released to the Tompkins Funeral Home on Colborne Street late Monday and the family has made arrangements for services.

Visitation will be held today from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A funeral that is open to the community will be held at 11 a.m. Friday .

"David's got lots of cab driver friends," his sister said. "I don't think I want to keep anything private."

He will be buried near his father at Glenhaven Memorial Gardens, precisely eight years after his father Norman's death by heart-related problems.

"We're burying my brother on the day that my father died," Krick said.

She said the loss may be just hitting her mother.

"I imagine it will be between seven and nine when the reality hits," she said. "She keeps looking out the window, waiting for him to come home."

Krick said the family is grateful for all of the support it has received.

"The lady whose house David was found in front of, she dropped off a vase of flowers and was saying she just had to do something," she said. "Everyone's been so great."

Krick, who had been driving a taxi since he was 19 years old, also worked at Benson Autoparts. He was a member of Legion Branch 9 in Kingston. He played golf, pool, darts and euchre.

He was described by his boss at Amey's Taxi as a "wonderful guy."

Police have not indicated any motive in his murder.

The death of a cabbie

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

- Kingstonians have just been tragically reminded that being a taxi driver is a very dangerous job. David Krick was slain Sunday, and as of this writing, no arrest had been announced.

Think, for a moment, about what a taxi driver does for a living. Your job includes stopping to offer rides to people whose identities you probably do not know, or picking people up at addresses with which you might not be familiar, or delivering them places you might well never consider going yourself.

Unless there's evidence to the contrary, when strangers get into your cab you are forced to assume that: a) they have the money to pay for their ride; b) they are not high on drugs or alcohol; c) they are not mentally ill; and d) they have not chosen your taxi expressly in order to rob or harm you. These are big assumptions.

Now add to this mix some other facts: that much of your interaction will be with more than one passenger at a time, thereby leaving you outnumbered; and that this interaction will often occur at night or during the early morning hours when there isn't a lot of help at hand if anything does go wrong.

Given all these circumstances, it almost seems a miracle taxi drivers in Kingston aren't seriously harmed more often.

Certainly, they have been assaulted and robbed. This newspaper carried a small "sampler" list yesterday of violent incidents involving taxi drivers, including one being robbed at knifepoint, another assaulted with a BB gun and yet another attacked by a drunk. Still, the death of David Krick may be the first murder of a cab driver in Kingston.

To the extent that it was possible to offer security, his company and peers did. There was an alarm button in Krick's cab, and there was satellite tracking. Other cab drivers, alerted quickly that one of their own was in distress, rushed to where the car had been to help search for the driver. When Krick was found, a cabbie administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while police tried CPR. Heroic gestures - just too late.

Discussion in days to come will centre not only on catching the culprit and finding out why the stabbing occurred, but on further safety measures that may be feasible for taxi-cabs, if any.

In the meantime, we mourn a man described by his friends and family as a "wonderful guy" who "wasn't a fighter."

And we'll think twice and feel a little extra appreciation when a lone cab driver responds to our calls for a ride late at night or in the very early hours of the morning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cabbie's killer at large; Taxi picked up male passenger near YMCA

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Rob Tripp
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Local News
- Kingston Police are hunting a single male taxi passenger who was picked up on Wright Crescent early Sunday morning and is the likely killer in what may be the city's first murder of a cabbie.

David Krick, 50, an Amey's driver, was stabbed in the chest and left to die early Sunday morning on a sidewalk on Durham Street.

Police officers, paramedics and other cab drivers who found the unconscious man lying on the cement and bleeding profusely, tried in vain to save him. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Krick's blood-smeared, stolen taxi was recovered about eight blocks away after a suspect apparently eluded pursuing police.

Police have released few details about the case, but the Whig-Standard learned that the veteran driver picked up a single male passenger on Wright Crescent, near the Kingston YMCA.

Krick went to an address on the street, believing he was picking up a passenger at a private home. Cabbies are wary of picking up fares off the street, particularly late at night or in the early morning. In this case, it appears Krick was tricked, apparently by a call made from a payphone, perhaps at the Kingston Centre across Bath Road, easily accessible to Wright Crescent through the parking lot of the YMCA.

Krick turned on his taxi meter at 6:44 a.m.

A minute or two later, he pressed a silent alarm button in his cab, alerting a dispatcher that he was in trouble.

Amey's drivers on duty received a text message on an electronic screen in every car, which is equipped with a satellite tracking and dispatch system.

Amey's driver Shelley Scott was in car 19 at the Loblaw's store in the Kingston Centre when she saw the message.

"It said, 'All drivers, please look for an injured driver at Victoria and Park streets area,' '' Scott recalled yesterday.

She used her two-way radio to ask the dispatcher for more details. She was told the driver's car was stolen and he was likely seriously hurt.

The dispatcher continued to track Krick's car, using the satellite technology, said Mark Greenwood, owner of Amey's.

The car had headed east from the pickup on Wright Crescent to Durham Street, then circled back and headed west toward Van Order Drive.

"My dispatcher was on the phone with the police saying, 'The car is still moving, it's turning on this street, it's turning on that street,' so the police caught up with the car," Greenwood said.

At the same time, Scott was scouring the Victoria Park neighbourhood, as were other taxis and police cars.

"It was scary because he wasn't in his car, you know, we were looking for someone on the side of the road, in a yard, you know, I wasn't sure," Scott said.

She was a block away when the dispatcher, who she said remained remarkably calm, notified drivers that Krick was found on Durham Street, a short residential road parallel to and one block south of Princess Street.

Scott rushed to Durham and jumped from her cab.

She saw Krick lying on his side on the sidewalk in front of a neat white bungalow at 14 Durham St.

"There was quite a bit of blood, he was unconscious and it took me a few minutes ... to collect myself. I was rather emotional and there was an officer there, I believe, at that point," she said.

Scott said in the surge of emotion and the frenzy of events, some details are lost to her.

She told the police officer she knew CPR. The officer began doing chest compressions while she did mouth-to-mouth on Krick, trying to give him breaths of life, through her tears.

"I was doing what I could to help," she said. "It seemed like forever, but I bet it was only a couple of seconds, or a minute or something, and the ambulance arrived and [paramedics] took over."

Scott said cab drivers and police had co-operated to quickly find the injured man.

"I would have wanted someone to go looking for me if it was me and I would have wanted someone to do whatever it took to help and that's all I did," she said, modestly, of her efforts to save him.

At the same time that rescuers worked on Krick, a police officer followed the stolen taxi cab to an apartment complex on Van Order Drive.

"I guess they came behind him and he jumped out of the car and ran into the building there and they lost him in the building," Greenwood said, noting it is an old and strangely designed complex. Sgt. Bill Kennedy told the Whig-Standard on Sunday that an officer saw a man flee from the vehicle. He did not explain how the suspect got away. Police have not released any description of the suspect.

"We are closing in on a number of suspects," Kennedy told the Whig yesterday, declining to say how many or if there was a top suspect. "I'd hate to see the guy know we're coming for him."

Following an autopsy yesterday, Kennedy confirmed Krick's death resulted from multiple stab wounds. No weapon has been recovered and police haven't determined a motive.

"It's a lot of information to absorb and we still have a lot of people to talk to before we put this all together," Kennedy said.

Krick, who was unmarried and childless, lived with his mother in a duplex on York Street. Family gathered there yesterday to comfort his mother, who is still coming to grips with the sudden loss of one of her three children.

"It is a hard thing to take," said Shirley Krick, 70, standing on the stoop of her home, flanked by a daughter and a daughter-in-law. "This is so senseless," said the victim's sister, Brenda Krick. "There's no meaning at all."

"Tomorrow will be sheer anger," added Robyn Lawlor, a sister-in-law of the slain man. Lawlor is married to Krick's brother, Raymond.

Brenda Krick said her 17-year-old son, Justin, is very upset over the death of his uncle.

"He's really taking it hard," said Krick, 47, whose other child, 23-year-old Cheryl, is making arrangements to return to Kingston from Calgary for her uncle's funeral.

The family has been told it could be tomorrow or Thursday before the body is released to them. Because of the delay, they have not been able to make firm plans for a memorial service or funeral, although they say that a public event likely will be held.

In the meantime, they are left to grieve and speculate.

They note that at this time of the year, when students are mostly gone from the city and the taxi business slows, David would have had a small amount of cash in his cab, a paltry motive for murder.

"He wasn't a fighter," the elder Krick said of her son. "I think [the killer] just wanted the car."

"We don't know," said Lawlor, 43.

Brenda Krick said she hopes the perpetrator is caught soon.

She was thankful for the kindness of Amey's owner Mark Greenwood, who picked up the family Sunday morning and drove them to the hospital.

She said she was told that her son was stabbed several times in the chest, with one injury striking his heart.

"We all feel for Dave's family," Greenwood said. "He was a wonderful guy and he's driven cab since he was 19 and he was a really nice guy."

Everyone in his company and throughout the taxi industry is saddened and shocked, he said.

In addition to driving a taxi on weekends, Krick also worked at Benson Autoparts.

Shelley Scott was back behind the wheel of her cab Sunday and yesterday.

"I found sitting at home I was more upset than being busy," she said.

"How many passengers do we pick up in a day that are really just wanting a ride and are the sweetest people and kind and considerate," Scott said. "I needed to get back out and meet those people and make sure that all was right with the world on some level."

- With a file from Brock Harrison

Police hunting passenger in taxi-driver slaying

From the Whig-Standard website

The Whig-Standard
Monday, June 18, 2007

Local News
- Kingston Police are hunting a single male taxi passenger who was picked up on Wright Crescent early Sunday morning and is the likely killer in what may be the city’s first-ever murder of a cabbie.

David Krick, 50, an Amey’s driver, was stabbed in the chest and left to die early Sunday morning on a sidewalk on Durham Street.

More details in the Tuesday Whig-Standard.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Update from today's Whig-Standard

Kingston Taxi Driver Murdered

Taxi driver slain; David Krick, 50, is Kingston's first homicide victim of the year

Jordan Press
Monday, June 18, 2007

Local News
- David Krick turned to his mother in the early hours of yesterday and let her know he was going to work.

"He said to me, 'I'm going to take your car, mom, and I'll be back by 9:30 [a.m.],' " said his mother, Shirley.

"But he never came back."

Instead of coming home, Krick, 50, died after being stabbed in the chest, and in the process became the first homicide of the year in Kingston.

"I'm all shook up, losing your son that way," Shirley said. "He was a good son - he helped me out any way he could."

The 50-year-old cab driver was stabbed early yesterday morning on Durham Street, just south of Princess Street and west of Victoria Street.

Police said in a release that there didn't appear to be any motive for the killing. A post-mortem is scheduled for today.

Shouts of "help" pierced the morning air and the sound of screeching tires followed when the words stopped.

It was around 6:45 a.m. when Krick hit the alarm button in his cab and alerted his company something was amiss. Amey's taxi drivers in the area came to the scene to help.

"And we found David," said driver Shelly Scott, who was one of the drivers who came to Krick's aid.

Police and drivers tried to stop the bleeding caused from the multiple stab wounds to Krick's chest. One, his mother said, pierced his heart.

An ambulance rushed Krick to Kingston General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Det. Bill Kennedy.

However, Krick's car wasn't on Durham Street. The assailant had gotten into the car and had driven off before help and officers arrived.

Police put out a notice about the Chevrolet Impala.

An officer on patrol and looking for the cab noticed the car pulling into the parking lot of the An Clachan apartment complex on Van Order Drive. Kennedy said the officer saw a man fleeing from the vehicle.

A description of the man hasn't been released.

Kingston Police closed off Durham Street and sectioned off the northeast corner of the apartment parking lot as forensic investigators combed through both crime scenes.

The white car had blood splattered on the rear passenger-side door, including three distinct, blood-stained fingerprints. Blood could also be seen above the window frame on the passenger door.

Along Durham Street and in the surrounding area, volunteer officers sifted through trees, bushes and gardens for the weapon used in the attack.

The search followed the trail the cab took from the scene to the apartment complex more than a kilometre away. Police were able to use information from the global positioning system installed in the car.

Amey's installed the system, along with the alarm button, in its cars for driver safety. Before the alarm button, drivers had to use the two-way radio to call for help.

Police didn't release much information about the killing yesterday, only saying more information would come as the investigation continued.

"There's a pile of things we just don't know," Kennedy said. "I'm hoping somebody can tell us who this fellow is and what they saw."

Police said it didn't appear that Krick had been hauled from his vehicle at the time of the attack.

Krick started driving taxis when he was 19, Shirley said. He enjoyed it so much that he continued doing it, she said.

A couple of months ago, he started working at Benson Autoparts during the week and driving a taxi on the weekend, she said.

Krick was tall and gangly, standing just over six feet in height and weighed about 140 pounds, Shirley said. He ate very little, she said.

Friend Dennis Keefe, a fellow cab driver, said Krick "had a very positive mechanism that would draw people to him." The two became good friends about 15 years ago when Krick started driving.

Keefe said Krick was honest, fair and never had a mean word for anyone.

"We lost an extremely good man," Keefe said from behind the wheel of his cab. "He was the kind of guy you could sit and shoot the crap with."

Word of the killing spread quickly through the taxi community and the reactions ranged from anger to sadness over the loss.

"When something happens to one person, it affects the whole industry. The whole industry is family," Keefe said. "When it comes down to someone getting hurt, there are no different companies."

Keefe said Krick enjoyed playing golf and darts with his buddies.

"We're all human. We're all going to remember the good times with him," Keefe said. "Personally, I'll just remember him as a good person, an honest person."

"It's a tragic loss," he added. "It's a stupid loss."

- with files from Erin Flegg

Violence against cab drivers occurs frequently in the city

Erin Flegg
Monday, June 18, 2007 - 00:00

Local News
- Don Nevin says he accepts that dealing with violence is part of his job description.

"It happens. There's really nothing you can do to prevent it," he said.

But Nevin doesn't work for law enforcement or the correctional service. He drives a taxi.

At midnight on a weekday about a year ago, he responded to a call at Stephen and Division streets, where he picked up two young men.

When it came time for them to pay, Nevin said, one of them hit him in the back of the head and again in the face before taking off.

Violence against cab drivers is common in the city.

Three weeks before yesterday's slaying of 50-year-old Amey's taxi driver David Krick, a 22-year-old man was sentenced to five years in prison for assaulting a cab driver with a BB gun in January. In February of this year, an Amey's taxi driver was threatened with a knife.

Nevin said he believes the precautions taken by some companies, such as the emergency response buttons Amey's installed on 70 vehicles last year, are pointless.

When a driver presses a red button on the dash of his or her car, the dispatch station can locate the car using a global positioning system and notify the police. Other Amey's taxis in the area are also sent to the scene.

Before the installation of the satellite system, drivers had to use the two-way radio to let the dispatch know they were in trouble.

"It has its merits, but if you can't get to it, what difference does it make?" Nevin said.

Ross Mahaffey, a driver with Modern Taxi, agreed that safety precautions in cars are virtually non-existent. He said one of the other regulations put in place to protect drivers can sometimes backfire.

Mahaffey recently received a $100 ticket for not wearing his seatbelt while driving without passengers.

Cabbies are allowed to go unbuckled when they have customers in the car to prevent them from being easily attacked with the strap from behind, and Mahaffey said it's easy for drivers to forget to buckle back up and then get caught by police. He said he often believes cab companies and the police are more concerned with protecting passengers from their cabbies.

"They're more concerned about us beating on passengers. That seems to be the philosophy," he said

He tries to protect himself by being selective about the jobs to which he responds.

"I don't take calls in certain parts of town if it's not a house address," he said. He admitted he has never considered the location of David Krick's death on Durham Street a rough part of town.

"You're just left up to your own wits, really, reading situations." Dennis Keefe, a driver with Amey's and friend of Krick's, doesn't agree. He says there are a number of things that can be done; it's just a matter of forcing people to do them.

"Where it stands right now, the taxi industry doesn't [care] about our safety."

He said taxi drivers are some of the most vulnerable people in the workforce, second only to the police.

"It's the second-most dangerous job there is. ... We have no protection."

He said cameras in every car as well as partitions between passengers and the driver would be a major step toward preventing violence against cabbies.

While a camera may not have saved Krick's life, Keefe said it would at least have given the police a much clearer picture of whom to look for. It could also serve as a deterrent to other potentially aggressive passengers.

"It's something that the taxi industry really has to take a look at."

He said the emergency response buttons are a good start, but they aren't as effective as they could be.

"If you're in danger of some sort, it should certainly be sent to the police."

Keefe said incidents such as yesterday's killing dispel the notion that Kingston is a safe, quiet town.

"I know you hear about things like this happening in Toronto and New York, but you don't hear about it in this city. ... But, you know, you've got to face facts."

On-the-job danger

Recent incidents of violence against Kingston taxi drivers

June 17, 2007: Amey's taxi driver David Krick, 50, is slain by an unknown assailant.

February 2007: An Amey's taxi driver is robbed by a man wielding a knife.

January 2007: A taxi driver is assaulted by a drunk man with a BB gun. The attacker was sentenced to five years in prison.

February 2006: An Amey's taxi driver is assaulted by a drunken passenger. His injuries are minor.

April 2005: A man is sentenced to two years in prison for armed robbery of a cab driver followed by assault on a different person a month later.

March 2005: A taxi driver is assaulted by a drunk passenger. When the driver tried to radio for help, the microphone was pulled away.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cab driver killed

From the Whig Standard Website

Jordan Press
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Local News
- A 50-year-old Kingston cab driver is dead after being stabbed early this morning.

Police said an Amey's taxi driver was stabbed on Durham Street near Victoria Street before 7 a.m. His car was found more than a kilometre away parked in the corner of the An Clachan apartment complex on Van Order Drive near Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard.

Forensic and volunteer officers combed both scenes for evidence and a weapon that may have been used in the attack.

In a release, police said at this time there is no motive for the killing. Police have also not released the name of the victim.

More information is to come as the investigation continues.