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Kidnapped Taxi Driver Calls 911 From Trunk Of Cab

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Roderick Swoopes Booking Photo. (Chicago Police Photo)

Roderick Swoopes Booking Photo. (Chicago Police Photo)

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UPDATED 11/9/10 2:19 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS/STMW) - A man who just finished a ride in a taxi allegedly robbed the cab driver of his keys, wallet and cell phone, and then forced the driver into the trunk of the cab — and the man drove off.

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But the cabdriver had a second cell phone — which he used from inside the trunk to call police, who arrested the man after a chase.

Roderick Swoopes, 27, of Calumet City, was ordered held on $750,000 bail Tuesday on charges of armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking and misdemeanor battery and aggravated assault to a police officer.

At 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, the cabdriver told police, Swoopes, 27, approached the cabdriver, who was taking a break inside a Dunkin’ Donuts near the Racine and Clybourn, and asked to be taken to East 64th and South King, police said.

The driver agreed, but when they arrived Swoopes, a native of Spain who works for a construction company, said he wanted to go his “his girl’s crib’’ instead and directed the driver to go to the 6400 block of South King, police said.

Swoopes asked how much he owed when they arrived, but he then pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and demanded the driver’s wallet and cell phone. Swoopes allegedly demanded more money and hit the cabdriver in the face and head, police and prosecutors said. The driver gave him $41 from below his seat, authorities said.

Swoopes then ordered the driver into the trunk and said, “ ‘Stay quiet or I’m going to shoot you,’ ’’ and shut the trunk, the a police report about the incident said.

As Swoopes drove off in the taxi, the cabdriver called 911 from the trunk with a second cell phone, authorities said. The cabdriver used a safety latch to pop the trunk so he could tell police where he was, but Swoopes allegedly saw the open trunk, stopped the cab and got out and hit him again.

Officers working under a federally-funded overtime initiative that puts officers in high crime areas on the weekends were patrolling the area, when they heard the “flash message” about the incident over the police radio.

The officers were headed southbound on Western at 62nd, but followed the cab using a GPS signal coming from the cab. When they saw the cab pass them going northbound on Western, the report said.

After a chase, the cab ended up crashing through a fence and into a pole at 2342 W. 59th, police said. Swoopes fled on foot but after a short foot chase he was arrested.

Officers helped the driver out of the trunk, and he fell to the ground. Paramedics were called and he was treated on the scene, but he declined transport to a hospital, the report said.

Swoopes has prior arrests for trespassing and cannabis possession, prosecutors said.

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