St. Petersburg police have arrested a man and charged him in the stabbing death of a cab driver.
- Arrest made in murder of St. Petersburg cab driver
- Juan Carlos Juares arrested, will be in court Friday
- Cab driver fatally stabbed overnight at St. Pete gas station
Juan Carlos Juares was arrested Thursday afternoon in the murder of John Andrew Hutchens, 59. He is charged with first degree murder in a case that has even veteran law enforcement professionals shaking their heads at the level of violence.
Officials said Hutchens, who was a cab driver for United Taxi of Clearwater, picked up Juares in his cab early Thursday morning and drove him to a mobile home park nearby. Upon arrival, Juares said he did not have enough money to pay the fare.
Hutchens then drove Juares to the Citgo gas station at 38th Avenue N. and 28th Street and told him to get out of the cab.
"Without any provocation at all, Juares reached up from the back seat and began to violently stab Mr. Hutchens repeatedly," said St. Petersburg Police Assistant Chief Jim Previtera.
Investigators said Hutchens attempted to get away, but Juares continued to attack him. Then, with Hutchens on the ground dying, Juares stole his cab.
First responders found Hutchens seriously injured with upper-body stab wounds. Hutchens died at the scene.
Jaures was arrested at a Pinellas County home Thursday night, not far from where the abandoned cab was found.
"It came together in terms of pursuing him and arresting him quickly, but this was one of the most violent crimes, it was the most violent crime I've ever seen in 31 years," said Previtera.
Police said Juares refused to answer any questions about the murder, which leaves investigators still trying to come up with a clear motive for the attack.
Juares's neighbors, meanwhile, called the entire incident a shock.
"He was a nice, quiet guy," said neighbor John Coughenour. "I never heard any noise or any problems over there. I don't really know him, bu there's been anything out of the ordinary over here."