What to Know
- Cabdriver Juan Fortuna picked up a passenger who hailed his taxi at a 7-Eleven in East Camden about midnight.
- The passenger asked to be driven to a public-housing complex, then demanded money from Fortuna and stabbed him seven times.
- As bystanders helped Fortuna, police say his attacker jumped out of the back of the taxi and ran. He's still on the loose.
Bystanders rushed to help a cabdriver stabbed seven times by a passenger in north Camden overnight, saving the man's life.
Witnesses told NBC10's Katy Zachry that it was just after midnight Wednesday when they saw a taxi careen into the parking lot of their public housing complex, at State and Front streets, and heard screams coming from inside the cab. They went to help, and said they saw a man get out of the back of the cab and run away and found the driver, identified by relatives as Juan Fortuna, in the front seat, bleeding from stab wounds to his shoulder and chest. Surveillance video also shows the suspect jumping out of the front passenger window of the taxi and fleeing the scene moments after he stabbed Fortuna, police say.
A woman put Fortuna in her own SUV and drove him to nearby Cooper University Hospital. Authorities said he was in surgery at Cooper about 4 a.m., and relatives said doctors later upgraded his condition to stable.
On Wednesday morning, Fortuna's brother, Jose Fortuna, who also drives a cab for the same company, 5 Star Cab, told NBC10 that he's grateful for the woman and others who helped save him. Jose Fortuna said his brother gave the robber the money, but the robber attacked him anyway.
"He was giving him the money, but he didn't pay attention to the money. He just all of a sudden started stabbing my brother," Jose Fortuna said. "And from that point forward, my brother crashed into another car, and the neighbors started coming out and trying to help."
Police said the ordeal unfolded after the passenger flagged down Juan Fortuna's taxi at a 7-Eleven in East Camden. The passenger asked to be taken to the public housing complex at Front and State streets, and there, authorities said, the passenger robbed and stabbed Fortuna.
Jose Fortuna said that 5 Star Cab drivers try to avoid picking up random fares overnight in order to stay safe and avoid dangerous incidents like the one his brother faced. Instead, they stick to fares who call dispatch and request a taxi as much as they can.
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Police continued to search for the driver's attacker Wednesday morning.