Teenager arrested in cabbie shooting

August 11, 2008 7:26:18 PM PDT
A second suspect has surrendered in the shooting of a cab driver. Erica Belgrave, 20, of Brooklyn is charged with attempted murder, robbery and other charges. She surrendered to authorities the day after police arrested a 19-year-old woman wanted in last Thursday's shooting of a city cab driver.

According to police, 19-year-old April Pierce surrendered to face charges on Sunday. But her father says his daughter is innocent.

"April did not shoot that man," April's father, Arnold Pierce, said.

Arnold Pierce says his family may be devastated-- but he's convinced his daughter is not the cold blooded shooter that shot a taxi driver in the face last week. But police think otherwise.

Pierce is charged with robbery and attempted murder. They have not said what led to her arrest.

"She told me they asked her to give her a lie detector test," Arnold Pierce said.

Early last Thursday morning 62-year-old Enois Malbranche-- in his yellow cab picked up three teenagers in downtown Brooklyn and dropped them off at the corner of Lafayette and Franklyn, according to police.

But as he waited for them to pay, something went tragically wrong.

Police add, two girls got out of the cab--while a third pulled out a gun and demanded his money. And even though he says he handed it over, a shot was fired.

The bullet hit an eye socket, and he remains hospitalized in critical condition.

"One shot-that was it. 6:30 in the morning," a witness said.

Three days later the manhunt ended at the Pierce's apartment. The father admits April was in the taxi with her girlfriends that night, but argues that that's the extent of her guilt.

Malbranche, who spent 9 years chauffeuring New Yorkers around, his life was spared but not his livelihood.

He has likely lost sight in his right eye, but says he can see out of his left eye now.

The brazen crime has cabbies all over the city concerned about their safety and witnesses replaying the incident in their minds.

He worked for Utica Taxi Company.

STORY BY: Jamie Roth
WEB PRODUCED BY: Poram Lee& Scott Curkin

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