In aug. of 2004, literally days after I started driving a cab, cab driver Pairoj Chitprasart was robbed shortly after picking up at the OG. After being robbed the robber poured gas on Chitprasart and set him on fire. He jumped out of the moving cab on fire right on the strip. He lived for three days.
I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. I was staging at 41, waiting for the 6am HI. flight. So about 15 or so drivers had a while to talk about it. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I felt like going home. I believe my first day was Aug. 1, 04 so it was less than three weeks after I started.
The accused James Scholl, was given up by a friend of his a day after the incident. Apparently Scholl bragged about it and his friend received 50K for making a phone call to CrimeStoppers. Just last week Scholl' trial ended. The DA was trying to get the death penalty which I agreed with, but they fell short in that attempt. I don't get that...so if this guy isn't getting the death penalty than who does? Just what does one have to do to be put to death in this state? They did however get the conviction and life w/o parole. So now the taxes I pay will go to feed and protect the guy who killed my brother and would have done the same to me had I picked him up.
Interestingly, the camera debate had been going on for some time prior to Chitprasarts death. After that happened it was really the kick in the ass that the camera debate needed and they were installed in most cabs and all of my companies about six months later. Since then there have been zero homicides against cab drivers and the number of robberies dropped by more than half to 20 in 2005.
So its safe to say that Pairoj Chitprasart' death was not in vain. RIP