The gash on Peter DeForge’s head is the only remaining physical sign of what he went through. But the mental wounds caused by his ordeal will likely take a longer time to heal.
“I’ve had some flashbacks,” said the 53-year-old cab driver. “It was scary.”
On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, DeForge was parked at the 69th Street Terminal waiting for fares. That’s when he was approached by two men who asked to be taken to Island and Lindbergh Boulevard. Once he arrived at the destination, DeForge says they began to attack him.
“They were just punching me,” said DeForge. “They were trying to get my ATM. They had a belt around my neck and I couldn’t breathe and they just tried to overpower me.”
Police say one of the men went through DeForge’s pockets, stealing his wallet which contained cash, credit cards and debit cards while the other man continued to attack him. The men then allegedly put him into the trunk of his own cab and continuing to beat him until he gave them the security codes to his ATM cards.
DeForge says the men then locked him inside the trunk and drove around in his cab for about 20 minutes. They finally stopped and told him to count to 100 before getting out, according to police. After a full count, DeForge got out and called dispatch for help.
DeForge was treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he spent two and a half weeks recovering before he was finally released on Tuesday.
On Feb. 20, police arrested the two men allegedly responsible for the crime. But DeForge told NBC10’s Denise Nakano more people may have been involved. While the suspects were driving him around, DeForge believes they picked up two women.
“It sounded like they picked up one other fare as far as I know,” said DeForge.
DeForge says he never told police about the women.
“They never asked,” he said.
While DeForge isn’t positive that everyone responsible for his ordeal has been brought to justice, for now he’s happy to be home and thankful to be alive.
“Knock on wood, they didn’t kill me,” said DeForge. “They were threatening but thank God they didn’t go through with it.”