Cab driver pepper sprayed by customer in Chico

POSTED: 6:10 PM Jun 10 2013
CHICO, Calif. -

Police said a passenger assaulted a Chico cab driver early on Monday morning while trying to rob him.

According to Chico police, Kent Cavender, 53, picked up 29-year-old Eugene Kaspari in his cab around 2:30 a.m.

Cavender took Kaspari to the 1100-block of East 9th St. According to investigators, when they arrived at the requested destination, Kaspari asked Cavender if he could get his change prior to handing over his cash to pay the bill. When Cavender refused, asking for payment before getting change, Kaspari sprayed him with pepper spray.

Cavender then sped off and called the police. His manager at Chico Cab said it is becoming more and more dangerous for cab drivers in Chico.

“It seems like there's a lot more violent crime in Chico, said Chico Cab Manager Kristen Flock. "It never used to be that way.  I feel it's going to get worse for cab drivers with that kind of stuff going on.”

Police found Kaspari a few blocks away from where he was dropped off inside of his apartment and arrested him for robbery and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Cavendera is expected to be back out on the job on Monday night.