Less than a mile into her taxi ride, a woman opened the vehicle's glass divider and threatened the Yellow Cab driver with a box cutter, demanding "50 bucks." When he refused, she whipped out a hammer and took aim at his head.
“When she brought the hammer ... to hit my head ... at that point I knew that she meant business,” Robby Williams, the taxi driver whose dashboard camera caught the Long Beach incident, told KTLA-TV.
Long Beach police on Tuesday released the video, asking the public's help in identifying the passenger.
The video showed the woman in the backseat at 3:15 a.m. Sept. 26 near her drop-off point at Anaheim Street and Redondo Avenue. Williams told KTLA that during the ensuing attack, he tried to remain calm.
“In a situation like that, you don’t want to show you’re panicking 'cause that’s what they want you to do and they can overpower you,” he said.
After the woman brought out the hammer, Williams hit the gas pedal, crashing into a parked car, according to Long Beach police. The woman then got out and fled the scene, without the money, police said.
Williams was treated and released at the scene for a cut he sustained to his hand during the struggle, according to police.
Long Beach police described the woman as 20 to 25 years old, wearing a brown knit hat and a light-colored hooded sweatshirt.
The cab picked the woman up near 7th Street and Termino Avenue, less than a mile from the attempted robbery location, KTLA reported.