Kenneth White was almost robbed at gunpoint early Wednesday morning. Thanks to his quick thinking and a bullet-proof shield separating him from the back of the cab, he was able to fend off the would-be robber.
A Hartford man charged in connection with a violent cab ride has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $750,000.
Police said Laron Frank, 34, tried to rob a cab driver, then shot at the victim when he didn’t get his way.
Kenneth White, the cab driver, said he knew something was up from the moment he picked up Frank in Hartford.
"Something is telling me something is wrong, or something is going to happen,” White said.
Then Frank started behaving suspiciously while in the back seat of his cab, White said.
“I put my hand beside the (bulletproof) shield, and I (watched) him,” White said.
Frank kept asking to be dropped off in remote areas in Windsor, with no one around, according to White.
“He said, ‘Stop here.’ When I look, it’s the ideal spot for a robbery,” White said.
White said that’s when Frank pulled out a gun.
“He comes up … and he says, ‘Give it all to me.’ Then, I locked the shield,” White said.
When White refused to give up the money, Frank allegedly fired a shot.
White was not hit. He eventually stopped the vehicle and Frank ran off.
Police tracked down Frank less than an hour later and he is in police custody White is relieved.
“Guys like this, you want them off the street,” White said.
Even after his violent day at work, White said he won’t let the dangers of his job get in the way.
“These things don't get me frightened. It gets me more brave,” White said.
Frank was charged with robbery in the first degree, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, unlawful discharge of a firearm and larceny in the sixth degree.
Frank appeared in court on Friday and will be given medical attention in jail for blindness, though he can see to a limited degree.