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January 31, 2008

Cab Driver Attacked by Passenger with Axe

A taxi cab driver was attacked by a passenger with an axe early Thursday morning in Downtown Minneapolis.

The victim was Mohd Farahid, who also goes by Mohammed, according to the Star Tribune. Farahid was reported as attacked both near 32nd hundred block of Adrich Avenue N., and 34th and Colfax Avenue N. at around 12:15 a.m. Chuck Nastrom, a dispatcher for Blue and White Cab Company, who Farahid called for help, said the cab driver was robbed and attacked. Farahid broke his hand after he fell fleaing the vehicle. WCCO reported Farahid was treated for 25 stitches in the back of his head at North Memorial Center, Robbinsdale. He is in fair condition.

The alleged attacker was a black man between 25 to 30-years-old. Farahid was attacked after a disgreement over change for a large bill, Scott Stalin, a manager at the cab company and friend of the victim said. After he told the passenger he did not have change the passenger said maybe he had a five dollar bill, reached into his coat, and instead of money pulled out the hatchet he used for the attack.

Lieutenant Greg Reinhardt of the Minneapolis Police Department said, "This is very unusual and particularily frightening." Other attacks have been made on cab drivers, "but not with a hatchet. This is so unique and out of the blue. This is a rare event."

Minneapolis cab drivers are no strangers to violence, said Stalin. Cab drivers are often the victims of harassment and robbery. Farahid had been previously robbed (as reported by KARE11).

Stalin said, that to impove the safety of cab drivers, the drivers should report problem addresses so the company can block them from their system.

If anyone has any information on the attack please call the Minnesota Police Department Unit at 612-673-2941.

Click here for KARE11's coverage of the attack.