21-year-old suspected of attacking St. Pete cab drivers with hammer, police say

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG (WFLA) — St. Petersburg police charged a suspect Wednesday in a series of taxi robberies in September and October 2021. 

Police said Drajan Polite, 21, of robbed three different cab drivers  on Sept. 6, Sept. 19, and Oct. 3.

In the first and third robberies, Polite allegedly used a hammer to hit the drivers in the head — even knocking one man’s teeth out, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

The driver in the second robbery was reportedly not injured.

Mohamed Elsayed is the president of Independent Taxi Service. He says one of his drivers was attacked. He was hit in the face with the hammer and ended up losing teeth.

“He said it hit him in a split of a second,” Elsayed said. “He didn’t remember anything. He got in, hey buddy how are you, take me to, boom.”

Elsayed says his driver was out of work for six months and had to go to rehab.

“He came back to work, but he’s paranoid,” Elsayed said. “I had to put a partition in his cab. It’s very sad for my cab driver.”

Detectives said Polite left the hammer behind in the Oct. 3 attack, and his DNA came back on it. Court documents said in each robbery, Polite used a fake name to call the cab.

Elsayed tells 8 On Your Side his business is dangerous and drivers don’t feel safe.

“I share their pain because I drove a cab for 10 years so I know the pain they go through,” Elsayed said.

He now faces charges for aggravated battery, robbery with a weapon, strong armed robbery and violating probation.

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