Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
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Cab driver, 63, hospitalized after beating in Sylvania Township

A 63-year-old taxi driver remained hospitalized Saturday and police said they have arrested the teenager accused of assaulting the man in his cab Friday morning while posing as a customer and robbing him of $7 cash.

Michael Orwig of Toledo was heavily beaten during the attack, which occurred before 7:30 a.m. Friday behind an apartment complex at 5204 Regency Drive, near Reynolds Road in Sylvania Township.

Sylvania Township officers arrived to find Mr. Orwig's face covered in blood and with blood splattered about the back seat of the Black & White Cab Co. van and pooling in a cupholder, according to police reports.

Police considered the injuries life-threatening. Mr. Orwig was taken to Flower Hospital and was transferred to Toledo Hospital, where no information was available on a patient by that name. But an owner of the cab company said yesterday that Mr. Orwig was in stable condition. Family members could not be reached for comment.

Sylvania Township detectives arrested a 17-year-old Friday night in connection with the aggravated robbery. He was booked into the Lucas County juvenile jail. Police yesterday declined to identify him or release details of the arrest.

Police said the teen called Black & White cab early Friday morning and requested a driver to pick him up at an address near the intersection of Arklow Drive and Hill Avenue in southwest Toledo.

Police said Mr. Orwig told them after the attack that as he was northbound on Reynolds the teen asked him to turn onto Regency Drive and pull behind the apartment buildings, about seven miles from the pickup. Mr. Orwig described how the teen struck him in the face and he blacked out.

Scott Potter, who owns the cab company with his wife, Judy Potter, said he was told that the teen allegedly beat Mr. Orwig with his fists.

"He was hurt pretty badly; there was blood everywhere," Mr. Potter said.

According to Mr. Potter, the youth then allegedly robbed Mr. Orwig of all the money in the cab: $7.

Mr. Potter said that contrary to common assumptions, his taxi drivers seldom deal in cash transactions. It is also very rare for his drivers to be robbed, he said.

"Ninety percent of our business is noncash - we do mostly accounts and credit cards - so our cabs don't carry a lot of cash," he said. "They usually just carry enough to make change."

Mr. Orwig has been a Black & White driver for numerous years and is considered good at the job, Mr. Potter said.

"He's just a very quiet, unassuming guy. We've never had any complaints," the owner said. "Just thank God he's alive."

Mr. Potter said there are 92 cabs in the Black & White fleet. Drivers often own their own vehicles and drive their cabs for the company for a weekly paycheck. Mr. Orwig was driving for another man who owns that particular van.

Black & White cabs are constantly tracked by GPS locating devices, Mr. Potter said.

Contact JC Reindl at:

jreindl@theblade.com

or 419-724-6065.

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