Wounded cabbie holds onto alleged attacker

March 15, 2010 2:26:45 PM PDT
A cab driver who was shot five times held onto his alleged assailant and refused to let him get away.

Patrick Foster, 45, had only been a cab driver for a couple of months when he was shot several times Saturday morning.

Monday afternoon Foster remains in critical condition but his alleged attacker is behind bars.

When Foster began driving a cab back in January his wife was worried about his safety even though he had never been robbed. In her native Honduras driving a cab is dangerous. Her fears about her husband's safety became a reality this past weekend.

For the first time Monday, Maria Foster talked about her husband's amazing actions during an attack that nearly claimed his life.

"He called I think at 3:20 in the morning. He told me, 'oh, Maria, I got shot,'" said Maria Foster. "I started screaming in the house. The kids was sleeping, I wake up them.

Patrick Foster, who began driving a suburban cab two months ago after being laid off his truck driving job of 10 years, remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition. He is sedated and on a ventilator.

Foster was shot five times by a man who allegedly tried to rob him. Despite wounds to his face, neck and back, Foster was able to fight back and subdue his would-be robber until police arrived.

While his doctors hail the Park City man as a hero, they say the biggest concern now is whether Foster received any injuries to his brain.

"His mandible was fractured. It was shattered. When you don't have that it's very hard to breathe," said Dr. William Watson, Advocate Condell Medical Center.

The suspected robber, 38-year-old Darryel J. Garner of Waukegan, has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. He is being held on $750,000 bond.

Police say the robbery happened around 3 a.m. Saturday after Garner jumped into the back of Foster's taxi cab. Detectives say when Foster resisted and struggled his 38-year-old attacker shot him five times. Incredibly, Foster called police after the attack and laid on top of Garner until help arrived.

"I think he is very lucky. It sounds like he was also able to maintain his cool as much as you can in that circumstance," said Dr. Watson.

Police say Garner told them he committed the crime because he has been out of work and was depressed. Monday afternoon Garner's relatives and neighbors refused to comment.

As Maria Foster credits God and her husband's strength and faith for his survival, she also has nothing but forgiveness for the man accused in the shooting. She says she's been able to deal with the attack with the help of her church's congregation along with the support of their two children, a 16-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy.

Doctors expect Patrick Foster to survive, but don't know how long his recovery will take or what long-term injuries he may have to endure.

Maria Foster says it goes without saying that her husband's cab driving days are over.