.

Ringleader in Columbia Taxi Attack Sentenced to 5 Years

Khalid Khahiem Woods, 20, was reportedly the one who planned the assault on a taxi driver that involved a BB gun and karate belt.

A Columbia man was sentenced five years in jail Friday in connection with the armed robbery of a taxi driver last March, according to the Howard County State's Attorney's Office.

Khalid Khahiem Woods, 20, of the 9500 block of Wandering Way, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.

He was one of four youths involved in holding up a Columbia Flyer taxi driver with a BB gun and choking him with a karate belt on March 1, in a robbery that ended with the cab crashing into a tree, according to the report.

The youths called the taxi to Sweet Fern Way around 10:45 p.m. on March 1. They could not all fit in the back seat, so Woods sat up front, according to a statement of facts from the state's attorney.

The driver requested a $10 fare before taking them anywhere because he "felt suspicious," according to the statement of facts.

The young men paid the $10 and requested to be taken to Sewell's Orchard, but could not provide an address, the report stated. When the taxi got to the 6800 block of Sewell's Orchard Drive, one of the young men said the group was "going to a residence with a very long driveway" on the left side of the street, according to the report.

Then a backseat passenger pulled a karate belt around the driver's throat and choked him, while Woods—in the front seat—pointed a BB gun at him and said: "I'm going to kill you," according to the report.

The cab driver said he was afraid for his life and "close to blacking out," court documents show. He accelerated, crashed the vehicle into a tree, got out to call police and the four youths fled.

When police arrived, the driver had a bloody nose and top lip and a cut under his eye from the airbags deploying, according to the statement of facts.

The BB gun was recovered on the floorboard of the front passenger seat and the karate belt was looped around the driver's headrest, the report stated.

Police later identified the four suspects through cell phone records and evidence left in the cab, according to court documents.

One of the youths told officials that Woods used his phone to call the taxi and assigned another young man to choke the driver, according to the report.

Howard County Circuit Court Judge Richard S. Bernhardt gave Woods a 12-year sentence on Friday, seven years of which were suspended. He also sentenced Woods to a five-year concurrent term for conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.

The others involved in the case were sentenced already, according to the state's attorney's office:

  • Johnam Perez-Rivera, 17, of the 9400 block of Merry Rest Road in Columbia, was the one with the karate belt in the backseat. He pleaded guilty to armed robbery and first-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months in jail and community service.
  • Chellby Ofosusafori, 18, of the 6500 block of Woven Moonbeam Court, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and was given an 18-month suspended sentence with five years of probation.
  • Woody Rousseau, 18, of the 6500 block of Pennacook Court, pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery and was sentenced to nine months in jail; he is serving five months on home detention, according to court records.

After his release, Woods will be placed on probation for three years, and he will pay $4,187.02 in restitution, along with his co-defendants, to the cab driver, according to the state's attorney's office.

Related:

Jessica February 11, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Khalid Khahiem! With a name like that I'd be angry with my life too :-p

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »