4 arrested in Mount Laurel cab driver attack

Police say 20-year-old cab driver Joseph Dominguez was assaulted by three adults and a teenager in Mount Laurel, New Jersey on January 30, 2012.

January 30, 2012 9:06:49 PM PST
The Burlington County prosecutor's office says four people have been arrested in connection with a brutal attack on a cab driver early Monday morning.

18-year-old Breanna Pimienta of Cherry Hill, 21-year-old Miguel Mercado of Cherry Hill, 21-year-old Mahadi Robinson of Maple Shade, and a 17-year-old male are charged with one count of Attempted Murder (First Degree), one count of Robbery (First Degree) and one count of Carjacking (First Degree).

Police say the suspects were at Pimienta and Mercado's residence early this morning when they arranged to have a taxi-cab pick them up at a nearby pharmacy. They instructed the driver, 20-year-old Joseph Dominguez, to take them to Mount Laurel.

Upon arriving at Forrest Court at approximately 3:00 a.m., Robinson put Dominguez in a chokehold and the attack began.

Dominguez exited the vehicle and fled to a nearby residence to seek help.

Mercado then got into the driver's seat and drove a short distance before crashing into a tree.

The suspects robbed the victim of $40

Dominguez remains at Cooper Medical Center in Camden in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery to treat a severe laceration to his neck.

The driver's friend and Five Star Cab Service dispatcher Nathalie Mercado (no relation to the suspect) says she was with the victim as he came out of surgery at Cooper University Hospital earlier today.

"I actually saw him and he did open his eyes for a second and I asked 'do you recognize me' and he shook his head yes," Mercado said.

Mercado says Dominguez recently stopped working overnight because of the risk of robbery.

"He went back last night to make a couple extra dollars that he needed to send to his mom. He said 'I'm going to take a couple of calls, don't keep me in the city cause it's too dangerous.' So I sent him to Cherry Hill thinking it would be a safer place," Mercado said.

Robinson and the juvenile were picked up by a Mount Laurel patrol unit that was responding to the crime scene.

Pimienta and Mercado were apprehended at their residence at approximately 3:00 p.m. by the Cherry Hill Police Department's Tactical Response Team.

Bail for each of the three adults is set at $300,000 with no 10 percent option.