Kidnapped Cabbie Calls Police From Trunk

Suspect crashed the cab before getting arrested, police says

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010  |  Updated 3:15 PM CDT
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NEW YORK - MAY 22: A conventional-engine taxi cab cruises the streets May 22, 2007 in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on NBC's "Today" show today that he has ordered all city taxis to be hybrid vehicles by 2012. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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Good cell phone reception helped a taxi driver outsmart a passenger charged with robbing him at gunpoint, stuffing him in the cab trunk and taking him for a joyride.

The cabbie used a second cell phone to dial 911 from the trunk and help bust the kidnapper.

Here's how it went down:

Roderick Swoopes, 27, of the 300 block of South Luella Ave. in Calumet City, flagged down the cab near Racine and Clybourn and requested to be dropped off at 64th and Racine Ave Monday morning.

Swoopes asked how much he owed when he arrived at his destination and then pulled out a gun, said police.

The suspect demanded the cabbie get out of the car and hand over his wallet and cell phone before getting into the trunk, police said. But the victim had a second cell phone stashed on his person. He dialed 911 from the trunk,  police said.

Officers working the "Operation Safe City" initiative heard radio transmissions about the kidnapping. They eventually spotted the stolen cab on 62nd and Western Avenue. Swoopes crashed and ran away, but officers caught him and arrested him, said police.

The taxi driver received treatment for minor injuries.

Swoopes is charged with one count of armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated vehicular hijacking, according to a Chicago Police News Affairs release.  Bail was set at $750,000 following a court appearance Tuesday.

If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in jail.

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