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    Man accused of beating and robbing cab driver

    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2001

    TARPON SPRINGS -- Benjamin T. Hayes, 22, of Tarpon Springs was charged Thursday morning with beating and robbing a cab driver.

    According to the arrest affidavit, Hayes called the Gold Nugget Taxi for a ride from Pinellas Avenue. He directed the driver to Harrison Street near Safford Avenue. When Hayes got out of the cab, he reached into the front of the taxi and punched the cab driver, who was not identified in police reports, several times in the upper body and head. Hayes then ripped the pocket off the driver's shirt and took $25 from the pocket, the affidavit states. The cab driver suffered cuts and bruises to his chest and left elbow. A Tarpon Springs police officer later approached Hayes in connection with the robbery and Hayes fled on a bicycle. As the officer ran after him, Hayes fell from the bicycle and ran. He was arrested later, the affidavit states.

    Hayes, of 403 S Levis Ave., was charged with strong-arm robbery, burglary with battery, hiring with intent to defraud and resisting arrest without violence. Hayes was held in Pinellas County Jail Friday in lieu of $80,500 bail.

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