Man, 29, arrested after Winnipeg taxi robbed at gunpoint
Passenger argued with driver before pulling out a replica air gun that looked like a handgun, police say
A 29-year-old man has been arrested after a taxicab was robbed at gunpoint and the suspect was chased by the canine unit, Winnipeg police say.
According to police, a man was picked up in a cab around Notre Dame Avenue and Weston Street around 11:30 p.m. on Friday night.
The cab travelled a few blocks to Gallagher Avenue, near Electa Street, when the passenger started to argue with the driver.
The passenger got out of the vehicle and walked to the driver's-side door. He pulled out what appeared to be a handgun — but later turned out to be a replica air gun — and demanded the cab driver give him money, Winnipeg police said. He also hit the driver in the head with the weapon.
After getting the cash, the man took off on foot.
Police arrived and found the 43-year-old cab driver injured from being hit with the gun. He was taken to hospital in stable condition.
Police officers, the police helicopter and the canine unit started searching for the passenger.
The suspect was found about 20 minutes later on Logan Avenue, near Quelch Street, where he was hiding in the backyard of a home. Police spokesperson Const. Jay Murray said the man had tried to get into the home before he was found by police.
The suspect was taken into custody and faces a slew of charges, including armed robbery and pointing a firearm.
Officers also found a replica air gun with the man, Murray said, adding replica guns are an increasing problem police are seeing.
He said police have done a good job getting guns off the street, so now people are turning to the replicas — which don't require a licence and are available in a lot of stores and often look very similar to actual handguns.
While it may just be a replica, Murray said when the gun is pointed at a person "the fear and psychological trauma that these victims endure is significant."
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