Local taxicab drivers and a dispatcher are going to be a little more cautious from now on after a Roswell woman attempted to hijack one cab driver’s car, stole another man’s truck and led police on a high-speed chase Tuesday night.
Nicole Terria Evans, 27, remains in the Carroll County jail on 24 charges after police say she attempted to steal a taxi at the Cobb Community Transit station off South Marietta Parkway, then got away, only to take another man’s truck at a nearby gas station, all with two toddlers in tow. That’s when police chased her down Interstate 20.
The taxi driver, Daniel Kim, 46, from Kenya, said he feared for the children’s safety more than his. “Those two innocent babies,” he said. “They were crying and she was all over the place, trying to flag down another taxi after she realized I was calling the cops.”
According to Marietta Police Officer Dave Baldwin, Evans was at the CCT station off South Marietta Parkway about 5:30 p.m. when she asked the cab driver for a ride.
While Kim was loading her stroller into the back of the van and after Evans strapped the two 2-year-old girls into the backseat, Evans jumped in the driver’s seat and attempted to drive away, authorities say.
“The taxi driver sees this, runs around to get her and at the same time, (Evans) gets out of the van, reaches in the back seat, grabs the two kids, throws them under each arm and takes off running,” Baldwin said.
With the help of two other drivers, Kim was able to stop Evans from driving off in his car. He was not injured during the struggle and was back at work Wednesday.
Apple Taxi dispatcher Naim Abdul, whose company is located in Marietta, said this is the first time any of his drivers have ever had to deal with an incident like this and he’s been working with taxi drivers for five years.
“I tell my drivers that any time they pick up anybody, call and let me know who you are going to pick up and where you’re going,” Abdul said.
He reminds his drivers to keep their doors locked and keys out of the ignition until they are ready to leave with a passenger.
One of Kim’s fellow taxi drivers, who declined to give his name, is abiding by that rule now.
“This is a good learning (experience) … You see I have my keys in my hand,” he said, showing his keys and pointing to his locked car. He was frightened by the incident involving his co-worker.
“It was scary because we don’t know if she could have a gun,” he said. “Some people are crazy. We feel safe until this happened yesterday.”
Evans’ next move
Authorities say after her failed attempt to steal Kim’s taxi, Evans crossed the four-lane road in front of the bus station while carrying the toddlers under her arms and ran to the Chevron gas station at 811 S. Marietta Parkway.
Store Manager Pravin Patel said Evans came inside for about 30 seconds, walked around the store with the kids holding her hands, then ran back out to a white, Ford F-150 single-cab truck that was still running.
“She goes out there, throws the kids in the truck like she’s throwing out the garbage, then drove off,” Patel said.
The driver of the truck, who has not been identified, was inside the store buying cigarettes at the time. He rushed out to the truck, grabbed onto the side of it and was dragged to the nearby traffic light at the intersection of Aviation Road and South Marietta Parkway.
“The guy came back in, said he was OK, then asked to use my phone to call 911,” Patel said.
After arriving on scene, police discovered that the truck driver had a GPS in his vehicle so they began tracking Evans’ location.
“She evidently drove through many jurisdictions in the northern metro Atlanta area,” Baldwin said.
Deputies with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office eventually spotted her about 8:30 p.m. on I-20 west and that’s when a 20-minute car chase began.
“They attempted to initiate a traffic stop and she fled,” Baldwin said.
Authorities say Evans got off at Exit 19, heading toward Temple, and local police took over the chase briefly before she got back on the interstate continuing to head west. She got off the interstate at exit 11 in Bremen, and Bremen police started their chase.
“They said she was driving erratically at this point, but got back on I-20, then back off at the Waco exit,” Baldwin said.
After driving through a Love’s Travel Stop at Exit 9, she got back on I-20 but this time heading east back toward Atlanta.
“Officers describe that she intentionally rammed a Bremen K-9 officer’s car (also heading east) with her car and when that happened, they both spin out into the median,” he said.
Evans was taken into custody without incident and is being held in the Carroll County jail on 24 charges, including theft by receiving stolen property, aggravated assault, fleeing from police, driving in a median, driving in an emergency lane, aggressive driving, passing on a shoulder, weaving on the road, failure to use a signal, seat belt violation, expired license, following too closely, improper stopping on the road, speeding, improper lane change and not stopping at a stop sign. A bond amount has not been set.
In Cobb County, Evans was charged with attempted theft by taking of a car, theft by taking of a car, aggravated assault by a car, expired license, reckless driving and two counts each of cruelty to children in the third degree and no seatbelt for a child under 5 years old. Her bond was set at $50,000.
No one was injured during the series of incidents. Baldwin does not know if the toddlers were Evans’ children, but they are now in the custody of family members.
Baldwin said police are still trying to determine a motive.
“We don’t know why she ran, why she was trying to steal the cars or what her back story is,” he said.
“The story changed three or four times just last night.”