St. Augustine cabbie breaks free after wild ride | News

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St. Augustine cabbie breaks free after wild ride

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Paul Rayner is recovering from injuries following a cab ride when his passenger, according to police, choked and kicked him.

It happened in the wee hours of Thursday morning and ended right across from the St. Augustine Police Department in the parking lot of Carmelo's, which has multiple security cameras.

"He started yelling at me that I was going to die," said Rayner who picked up a man that earlier in the day he had given another ride to. Rayner says the the two-mile ride lasted almost seven minutes.

Eugene Wilson is in custody charged with battery, motor vehicle them and attempted armed robbery. He is currently in a local hospital after he crashed the Yellow Cab after missing a curb.

In surveillance video, Rayner could be seen being kicked and punched in the front seat of the cab after he pulled into the parking lot knowing there would be cameras.

Wilson could also be seen following Rayner into the store, where there was another confrontation.

Rayner says he just started driving a cab. He is a carpenter by trade and moved to the First Coast from Louisiana for his daughter, who is hearing impaired and attends school in St. Augustine.

"I was thinking about my family how much they needed me," said Rayner when asked what he was thinking about while being choked.

Rayner now has unexpected medical bills and no insurance and no job. He has no plans to return to work driving a cab.


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