Cab Driver Recalls Brutal Attack By Passenger

By: Wendy Enneking Email
By: Wendy Enneking Email

Lexington cab driver Mike Carpenter said he didn't notice anything unusual about the man he picked up on August 29th. Carpenter said the man needed a ride to the south side of town and what seemed to be a normal conversation took place during the ride.

As Carpenter came upon Nicholasville Road near Central Baptist Hospital, he got stuck in traffic. That's when his passenger made a move that was completely unexpected.

"I took my eye off him for a minute and in one sweeping move, he was able to put a knife to my throat and told me he was gonna kill me."

Carpenter said he tried to remain calm and reached for a taser he kept beneath his seat. He said he wasn't able to actually get a hold of the taser to use it but he was able to turn it on. The sound made by taser as it was activated startled his assailant. Carpenter said that's when he was able to grab the knife and move it away from his throat. But, the assailant still had control of the weapon.

Carpenter said the man then started stabbing him repeatedly in the head.

"He kept stabbing me. All I could do was count it. I counted every time he stuck that knife in the top of my head and at the same time I was wondering how do I stop this from happening?"

Carpenter was able to make his move when the assailant got his arm near Carpenter's mouth.

"I bit right down on the most tender part of his forearm and he went to squealing like a baby, 'Turn me loose! Turn me loose.'"

The assailant then opened the door and took off. Police managed to catch up with him in a neighborhood near the site of the attack. He was identified as Justin Thornton. Thornton managed to reach a plea deal in the case and was released from jail shortly after the attack. However, he is currently back in jail on a probation violation.

As for Carpenter, he says he continues to be vigilant with all of his passengers. When asked if he'd consider utilizing a barrier between the front and back seats of his cab, he said he wasn't interested. In twenty-five years of driving a cab, he says this is the first time something like this has happened to him.

In regards to his assailant, Carpenter issued a strong statement but managed to maintain his sense of humor.

"When he gets out of jail, I hope he calls a cab."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mom of Four Location: Lexington on Oct 8, 2008 at 07:12 PM
    He was released from jail shortly after the attack? Was he released to a mental health facility? What kind of assault did he need to commit to stay in jail, so that the rest of us could be safe? Good gosh!
  • by sierra Location: Nicholasville on Oct 6, 2008 at 01:29 PM
    a plea deal? for stabbing someone in the head repeatedly? And he's already out of jail! Does it occur to the prosecuters in these cases that he'll probably attack someone else? And this time he might succeed in killing them? How do you get a plea deal for assaulting someone repeatedly with a deadly weapon alll the time trying to kill them? I guess if the cab driver hadn't fought back and just let this guy kill him then maybe he'd get more jail time? What a joke, if I were the cab driver I'd sue the prosecuter!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 6, 2008 at 09:00 AM
    What the &*$^! How do you repeatedly stab somebody in the head and get released shortly there after?
  • by mj Location: lex on Oct 6, 2008 at 07:37 AM
    I read yesterday the story about a 17 year old boy who was sentenced to 13 years for robbing someonw with a gun. The evidence was circumsantial at best. What kind of sentence will this guy get?
  • by AC Location: Corbin on Oct 6, 2008 at 07:24 AM
    he was released from jail shortly after the attack? is there something to this story we're not being told? random acts of violence like this should be punished most severely.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 6, 2008 at 06:17 AM
    Talk about justice. He reached a plea deal and was released and is only back in jail on a probation violation. The man commits attempted murder and was let out. Wow......just wow.
  • by Diedre Location: lexington on Oct 6, 2008 at 04:25 AM
    Was the man with the knife, white, black or hispanic? If the police was interested in catching him, why didn't they give a description?
  • by bethh. Location: somewhere on Oct 5, 2008 at 10:19 PM
    Oh my goodness.

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