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Lakeview hit-run video shows cabbie-car standoff

By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas

RedEye

1:10 PM CST, November 6, 2013

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A Lakeview cab driver's quest to talk to the man who hit his taxi cab last week turned into a five-car hit-and-run, according to a video a witness posted to YouTube.

The video shows a cab driver facing off against a black SUV on Belmont Avenue, pacing in front of the car as its driver drives forward and back, trying to get away. The SUV driver finally escapes after the cab driver walks around to the driver's side window and begins banging on the glass with a small bat-like object--but in the process of escaping, the SUV driver hits at least five other cars, according to police officials.

By the time the SUV driver made it to the corner of Ashland Avenue he was caught by police, according to Kevin Moore, 39, the man who shot the video.

Police officials confirmed that the SUV driver, who allegedly was driving a stolen car, was taken into custody and charged with criminal damage to public property, leaving the scene, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, among other offenses.

Moore was at his home in the 1400 block of West Belmont Avenue the afternoon of Oct. 30 when he saw the incident unfold from his balcony, he said. He used his cell phone to shoot video of the standoff between the two drivers, he said, intending to help capture the SUV's license plate number.

"Nothing surprises me much in Chicago anymore," Moore said in an interview. "I just couldn't believe that this guy went through that much trouble to run off. He was probably a young guy who was obviously scared or something."

Moore said he was also surprised to see the cab driver hit the SUV with a small bat, which resembled "those souvenir bats" at Wrigley Field.

Moore, who has never posted a video to YouTube before, said he was inspired to put the video up two days later by work friends.

"I just came home to grab a few things and saw the cab driver step out of his car to try to get the information from the driver in the SUV," he said. "I was just trying to video tape the license plate."

Cometas Dilanjian, the president of City Service Taxi, the cab company affiliated with the taxi driver, said the cab sustained about $3,400 worth of damages. He also said the company is investigating the cab driver's response to the incident.

"Unfortunately, this could have been handled a different way," Dilanjian said. The driver "didn't realize this was a stolen car, and he probably didn't realize the danger. [Now] we're telling our drivers, don't get this deeply involved, get a plate number and just walk away."

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