Tale of Two Cities: Mansfield cabbies robbed; Nashville cabbie shoots back

Mansfield's Quality Cab Co. has expressed concern for the safety of its drivers after two armed robberies in one week. The cab company -- the only one in Mansfield -- is considering halting service to an apartment complex, Northwest Village Apartments, at 670 King St.

Driver Mike Eberhardt Sr., 45, said about noon Wednesday he picked up a patron at the apartment complex. The man asked to be taken to West First Street. Upon arriving in an alley off West First Street, Eberhardt said the man demanded money as he pressed a silver handgun against the driver's shoulder.

Quality Cab office manager Brad Walker, 44, says "we need to protect our drivers, and it's the civic responsibility for all of us to do the right thing," Walker said.

"I don't want to go to the morgue to identify one of my drivers," he said.

Meanwhile, in a state that allows its law-abiding citizens to a carry concealed handgun for self-defense, a shockingly similar story had a much different ending for this Tennessee cab driver, who became the victim of an attempted robbery:

The Tennessean, Nashville, TN

A Nashville, Tenn., cab driver had his worst fear come true when a fare he picked up early one morning pushed an object into his back and demanded money. The cabbie had become nervous when the man began making rapid requests. The driver reached for his own gun (for which he had a permit to carry) for assurance. When his passenger attempted to rob him, the cabbie gave him some money, then fired at him. The wounded robber left the cab, leaving the blood-stained money behind. The suspect was arrested by police several blocks away.

• While Ohio's prudent person law supposedly provides a way for these drivers to protect themselves, a Hamilton County Common Pleas judge, and three Appeals Court justices have ruled unanimously that the current law does not providing adequate protection, is not being enforced correctly, and is unconstitutional.

Contact information for the area's elected officials is provided below:

State House of Representatives
Rep. William Hartnett (D-73)
Phone: (614) 466-5802
Fax: (614) 644-9494

State Senate
Sen. Bill Harris (R-19)
Phone: (614) 466-8086

Click here to read the entire story in the Mansfield News Journal.

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