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Man convicted of robbing cabbie

Erika Sherk
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 15/06) - A man was found guilty on Tuesday of robbing a cab driver of nearly $200 after punching him in the face.

Justice Virginia Schuler convicted Jason Rolfe, 24, on a charge of robbery after a two-day trial stemming from an incident on Nov. 5, 2005.

Early that morning a cab picked up Rolfe in the Kam Lake area.

The cabbie testified he took Rolfe to a couple of different addresses but each time Rolfe asked to continue on as the houses were dark.

Eventually, the cab returned to Kam Lake Road and Rolfe requested to be taken downtown.

"At that time I was more scared," testified the cabbie. "I feel like something is going to happen."

He then saw something come at his left eye. "I got hit," he said.

Rolfe's punch knocked the cab driver's glasses off and his foot off the brake. Still in drive, the car started rolling forward. The driver jumped from the moving vehicle and ran away.

The driver testified he couldn't see where he was going because he had lost his glasses and had blood in his left eye.

"Everything in front of my face is black," he testified. When Rolfe came after him and demanded money, he told him it was in the car, and kept running.

In an ironic twist, the half-blinded cab driver found his way to an intersection and flagged down a red Honda.

"I said 'help me, help me,'" testified the cab driver.

The car door opened. Inside was Rolfe, who by that time had exited the cab and entered a stolen vehicle driven by an accomplice. The cab driver decided to hand over his night's earnings, about $200, after Rolfe promised not to hurt him.

Rolfe drove off and the cab driver flagged down another car, whose driver called the RCMP.

Police arrested Rolfe about three hours later, while still in the stolen red car.

The cab driver needed five stitches to close up a gash above his left eye.

Rolfe also pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of stolen property, and is scheduled to be sentenced for both convictions on Jan. 19.