Taxi drivers fear for their safety after police said a taxi driver was murdered

Posted at 11:29 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 23:29:49-04

Taxi drivers are constantly thinking about safety on the job especially after learning a Clearwater taxi driver was murdered.

According to authorities, Juan Carlos Juares was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Police said he murdered John Hutchens, a driver for United Taxi of Clearwater. Veteran homicide detectives said the stabbing death was one of the most violent murders they have seen.

"That tells me things are bad out there," Bash Hussain said. Hussain is a driver in Hillsborough County.

"We are in the vulnerable position when we are driving," Hussain said.

His first thought was about safety and protection after he heard the news. He wishes all taxi's had safety partitions. He said he has told drivers not to be afraid to refuse a call.

"It's always sad. It's life. These guys put their life on the line and then it's a war zone," Lee Cooper, United Taxi Driver, said.

Many drivers said they thought about their own close calls after they heard what happened to the Clearwater taxi driver.

According to Hussain, more and more drivers are working at airports because they feel safer. Juares is behind bars on no bond.