Thursday, June 21, 2007

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."

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