In 31 years of law enforcement, St. Petersburg police Assistant Chief Jim Previtera said he’s never seen anything like it.
“The level of violence is mind boggling. It was extremely violent.”
Police arrested Juan Juares Thursday night after a day long man hunt. They said he’s the person who stabbed cab driver John Hutchens to death early Thursday morning.
Investigators were able to see everything that happened inside the car from a security camera, including the bloody attack.
They said from the video it appears Juares didn’t have enough money to pay the minimal fare after a 5 minute ride and Hutchens threatened to call the police.
He pulled over at a gas station and told Juares to get out. That’s when the violence started.
“At some point Mr. Hutchens tried to fend off the attack and he became even more aggressive. Stabbing him repeatedly and cutting him, slicing him with the knife from the backseat,” said Previtera.
Police said the 59-year-old victim managed to stagger out of the cab, but while he was down on the ground Juares finished him off.
“And Mr. Juarez very calmly turns, walks away and goes over to the taxi cab and enters the cab and takes the cab.”
Police said state law protects that disturbing surveillance video from being released. But it will be turned over to the state attorney’s office to help in prosecuting Juares for first degree murder.
A Pinellas County judge ordered that he continue to be held with no bond. He was also appointed a public defender.