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Stabbing suspect told cabbie he ‘had a bad day’

Maurice A. Mart |  Supplied phofrom Aurorpolice

Maurice A. Martin | Supplied photo from Aurora police

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Updated: August 8, 2013 6:56AM

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary early Thursday morning when an Aurora taxi driver took the call to pick up a man from a Naperville gas station.

The 39-year-old driver, who has been in the cab business for about three years, wasn’t leery at all about the 4:45 a.m. pick-up, he said.

The caller, Maurice Martin, 33, of Naperville, simply asked to be driven to the Hollywood Casino Aurora. Not an odd request.

While en route, police said Martin asked to stop at a gas station in the 600 block of North Broadway Avenue in Aurora so he could break a $100 bill.

When he got back into the taxi he told the driver he changed his mind about the casino, and wanted to go somewhere else. He gave the Eagle Taxi Company driver street-by-street directions.

After a while, in the area of Spring Street and North Fourth Street, the driver pulled over, and got into a short verbal altercation about Martin’s final destination.

Police said Martin pulled out a sharp object and held it to the driver’s neck.

“It happened so fast, I don’t know what he was holding,” the driver said. Next thing he knew, his neck had been cut.

Police said the object was possibly a broken plastic license plate holder frame.

After he was slashed, the driver jumped from the still-moving vehicle. The cab struck a car, and came to a halt. That’s when Martin jumped to the front seat, taking control of the wheel. He took-off eastbound on Spring Street.

“He said he had a bad day,” the driver said, and, it was about to get worse.

Martin was on the lam for nearly 12 hours in the victim’s cab before an off-duty DuPage County Forest Preserve police officer spotted him near Route 59 and Butterfield Road at around 4:50 p.m. Naperville and Warrenville officers then took off after Martin, who continued on toward Aurora.

Aurora police officers took over the chase near Route 59 and North Aurora Road, and followed Martin through numerous Far East side streets.

When they reached North Avenue and Benton Street, Aurora police learned that an Illinois State Police plane was in the area, and had a clear view of the cab. Aurora police ended their pursuit, and laid stop sticks in Martin’s path. The tactic worked, popping one of the cab’s tires.

Martin surrendered near Ohio Street and Harriet Avenue, and was taken into custody without incident, police said.

Martin was treated at an area hospital for minor injuries to his head. He was apparently involved in a crash with an Aurora police squad. The squad car driver was not injured. Police said no other crashes or injuries resulted from the incident.

Martin was charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking, vehicular hijacking, aggravated battery, aggravated fleeing and eluding police, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

As for the cab driver, he said he is doing fine. He was in the hospital for a couple hours, and is back on the road.

“I have never seen anything like this,” he said.

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