Arrest made in murder of New Jersey taxi driver

October 3, 2010 10:06:43 AM PDT
The Union County Homicide Task Force has arrested a suspect in the recent shooting death of a Plainfield, New Jersey taxi driver.

Wallace Parrish, 19, of 981 West 4th Street in Plainfield was taken into custody on Saturday evening following an intense investigation by the authorities. Parrish, a confirmed member of the "Sex, Money, Murder" sect of the Bloods Street gang is charged with murder and weapon offenses. Parrish is being held at the Union County Jail in Elizabeth on $750,000 bail.

Police say the victim, 44-year-old Isidro Leonardo, was found early Tuesday morning in the passenger seat of his taxi cab. Leonardo was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center, where he later died.

Leonardo was an employee of United Taxi Company in Plainfield. He was a husband and a father of two.

"This was a great investigative effort by the Homicide Task Force and the Plainfield Police Department," said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. "We continue to not only investigate this crime, but also an attempted robbery that occurred earlier the same morning involving the same taxi company."

Romankow said this is a clear sign that gang activity goes beyond the sale of illegal drugs and causes real and permanent harm not only to their victims but families and the community at large.

"The Plainfield Police Department has been proactive in its investigation into the activity of gang members, and while they have seen some success in recent years, the only true way to rid the city of this activity is for everyone to rise up and say enough is enough. The only way to stop violence like this is by all working together, police and the public, to hold people accountable for their actions and their impact on the greater society."