Two Girls Die in Crash during Taxicab Robbery and Attempted Carjacking

April 9, 2008

Los Angeles: Hollenbeck Area homicide detectives are investigating a robbery and an attempted carjacking of a taxicab that resulted in a traffic collision and the death of two 17-year-old girls.

On Tuesday, April 8, 2008, at 12:40 a.m., a 40-year-old cab driver, Javier Hernandez, picked up two girls for fare from the area of Warbash and Fickett Streets. The girls entered the back seat and asked to be taken to Lancaster and Soto Streets.

Once near the location, one of the girls told Hernandez to continue to Medford Street and she would call her boyfriend to come out and pay the fare. At the same time, Hernandez could hear one of the girls talking on a cell phone but was unable to hear the conversation. Hernandez pulled up to 2410 East Medford Street when he saw a suspect, a male Hispanic, walking up to the driver’s window. The suspect, while holding a handgun, said to the driver, "Where you from? Give me your car." The suspect then reached through the driver’s window and grabbed a GPS system off the dashboard. In fear for his life, the cab driver sped away eastbound on Medford street.

While fleeing from the suspect, Hernandez noticed a car chasing him at a high rate of speed as both girls yelled for him to stop. One of the girls slashed him on the right ear and cheek area with a sharp object, but he continued driving. He then lost control of his car and it struck a metal post and concrete barrier. The collision ejected both girls from the car, killing them instantly. Hernandez was not ejected and was able to call for help.

A black Honda approached the scene of the accident and three men got out, as if looking for the girls and the cab driver. Police also arrived and detained the men for further investigation.

During the course of the investigation, detectives interviewed the occupants of the Honda and learned that one of the passengers, identified as Hector Jasso, 20, was the suspect to the initial robbery. The driver of the Honda, identified as Daniel Martinez, 21,was chasing the cab at the time of the collision. The third occupant was questioned and released. Both Jasso and Martinez were arrested for two counts of murder.

The cab driver was treated at a local hospital and released.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hollenbeck Detectives at 323-526-3000.

On Weekends and during off-hours, calls may be directed to a toll-free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).