Taxi company blamed for actions of employee accused of kidnapping, robbery

By Thomas Kallies | Sep 10, 2013

PRINCETON - A taxi company is being sued after an employee allegedly kidnapped and robbed a woman before police apprehended him attempting to do the same to a second elderly victim.

Plaintiff Loretta Mariotti Hammond filed her lawsuit against Taxi One Inc. and its employee, Randy Ray Meadows, on June 5 in the Circuit Court of Mercer County. In her complaint, Hammond claims that Taxi One was negligent in the hiring and supervision of Randy Ray Meadows.

Meadows was indicted in June 2012 on charges of second-degree robbery and kidnapping.

Hammond alleges that when she reported for work on the morning of March 2, 2012, at the Mountaineer Bowling Lanes in Bluefield, Meadows was in the parking lot standing next to his cab. When Hammond pulled up, Meadows opened her car door and demanded that she move to the passenger seat, the suit says.

Once inside the vehicle, he demanded Hammond's ATM pin number before he drove to an ATM and stole $400 from her account, the suit alleges. He then drove Hammond back to the bowling alley, where he stole her cell phone and $85 from her purse before absconding in his cab, according to the brief.

The filing states that police were immediately notified of the incident and reviewed relevant surveillance video. They determined that Meadows was the only driver working for Taxi One at the time and that he had failed to return his cab after his previous shift, the suit says.

Shortly thereafter, Meadows' cab was located and put under surveillance. Police then allegedly observed Meadows following an elderly victim to her car where he forced her into her backseat, attempting to kidnap her. Authorities moved in on Meadows, apprehending him after he attempted to flea on foot, according to the complaint.

At the time of the incident, Meadows was on parole for armed robbery, the suit says.

Hammond is seeking damages to fully and fairly compensate her for her damages. She is represented by Michael F. Gibson of Gibson, Lefler & Associates.

Circuit Court of Mercer County Case No. 13-C-225.

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