An Ethiopian taxi driver who was kidnapped and locked in the trunk of his cab for a day remains unconscious in the hospital. 30-year-old Mulugeta Shiferaw’s friends say he is not responding to commands from his doctors or family.
Meanwhile, the man accused of the crime, 30 year old Charles Black of East Price Hill, appeared before a judge on Monday morning and is now held on $1.5 million bond. Black is charged with robbing and kidnapping Shiferaw on Saturday morning. Police caught him after a high speed chase that ended in Elmwood Place.
Local 12 news reporter Angenette Levy spoke with the victim’s friends on Sunday. “We’ve been here all day and there’s no new things.”
Ayana Basha is worried about his employee and friend, Mulugeta Shiferaw. Local 12 News was there Saturday night when police found Shiferaw tied up in the trunk of his cab – unconscious. “He should respond by now and he’s not responding by Monday or Tuesday they have to run the test and see what’s going on with his brain. we’re hoping for the best.”
Shiferaw has been driving for Basha’s West Side Cab Company for less than six months. “He’s very nice guy and polite and a hard worker that’s the most thing. he’s very strong and hard worker. He’s one of the top guy in my company to make money.”
Basha and his cab drivers say Charles Black used the company’s taxis several times Saturday morning before Shiferaw picked him up. Drivers picked him up in Price Hill and dropped him off downtown. Basha says, “From 7:30 to almost 8:30, 9:00 so he’s using it from one location to another location, he keeps calling us. So he spent around 40 dollars.”
Asfaw Deyas is a fellow driver. “If a customer keep going same place three or four times, keep coming and going back, coming and going back then something going wrong.”
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Police began searching for Shiferaw around 10:20 Saturday morning, when he did not check-in to his employer. Police then spotted the vehicle around 7 p.m. on Oak Street in Corryville. That’s when Black sped away, leading police on a high-speed chase throughout Avondale, St. Bernard, Springfield Township and Elmwood Place. Black bailed from the vehicle, once he crashed near a pair of train tracks. Police dogs were also dispatched to the area and they found him near a creek.
Suspect in Taxi Driver Kidnapping Appears in Court
Police discovered Shiferaw inside the trunk of the cab-police say he was badly dehydrated and barely conscious. And as they pray for his recovery, Shiferaw’s friends are also wondering whether anyone else was involved in the kidnapping. Basha says, “He’s 6’3″, 200 pounds, unless someone give him hand, somebody help him out this guy put in the trunk, it don’t look like one person’s job.”
Black is a convicted felon. He was just released from prison on September 2nd where he was serving a nine month sentence for trafficking in counterfeit controlled substances. In January of this year, he was charged with robbing a person at gunpoint, but the case was later dismissed.