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Cab driver charged after firing gun

Unknown man and woman skipped out on $435 fare in September incident

Posted: February 29, 2012 - 9:30am

A 53-year-old cab driver has been charged with various offenses as a result of firing his weapon at the ground and into the air to scare a passenger who did not pay an Anchorage to Kenai fare, according to court records. Andre Dong Shin’s trial is this week at the Kenai Courthouse.

Charges against Shin include two counts of third-degree assault, fourth-degree misconduct involving a weapon, fifth-degree misconduct involving a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Kenai Police reported that on Sept. 16, 2011 at 3:00 a.m. officers Levi Russell and Jayms Harris responded to multiple calls alleging nine to 10 gunshots fired in the woods behind an apartment complex at North Gill Street in Kenai.

The officers searched the area, and Harris contacted a woman next to a yellow cab. The woman said she and Shin drove a white male and a white female from Anchorage, and they had fled without paying a $435 cab fare, according to court records.

Russell located Shin across the Spur Highway at S. Forest Drive and Stellar Drive. Shin said he was the driver of the cab. Russell began searching Shin for weapons when Harris radioed and said the cab driver may possess a firearm. Russell asked Shin about the firearm and Shin confirmed. Shin then began to reach under his shirt but was “stopped” by Russell, who removed a Berretta .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol from the driver’s elastic band, according to court records.

Russell was in contact with Shin for over a minute before Shin informed him of the pistol, which was unnoticeable when concealed under the shirt, police reported.

Shin said he had drove the two passengers from the Anchorage Airport to Soldotna, but they did not have enough money to pay the fare. The passengers said they could get the money in Kenai. At the apartment on N. Gill Street the female passenger exited the cab and did not return. Shin and the male passenger knocked on a door at the apartment, but no one answered. The male passenger said he needed to urinate, and Shin began walking back to his cab. The passenger began running away from the apartments, and Shin chased after him on foot, according to court records.

In an attempt to stop the fleeing passenger Shin said he shot the pistol several times at the ground. Later, he described chasing the male down a street while firing the pistol, allegedly in the air, police report.

A witness who called 911 reported hearing shots fired, and he heard teenagers laughing, according to court records.

The passengers are not identified in the court records.

Anchorage attorney Stephen Hale is representing Shin in the case. Shin remains out of custody.

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at

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bobjones 02/29/12 - 01:52 pm
Those thieves should be charged

The state should have charged the criminals who stole $435 in services from Mr. Shin. He never shot at them, or anyone else, only tried to stop them from running out on their bill. Maybe if there were more Mr. Shins in the world, there would be less thieving!

ManInBlack 02/29/12 - 02:40 pm

bj, or rather cj, you're one to talk about shooting.... I understand your motivation for trying to "defend" a fellow cabbie, but come on, shin endangered every other person in the area with his reckless actions.

jimbob 02/29/12 - 06:40 pm
Great Police work

Stands to reason, the poor working man gets ripped off for over $400 (felony) and while trying to stop the perpetrator who may have been armed also, fires his gun in the air. The keystone cops show up and make a major deal out of it while the felons complete their escape. Nothing in the article mentions what the cops are doing to arrest the felons. Why is everything upside down nowdays? The robbers names are not even mentioned in the court records. Obviously they must not be going to testify. Too bad the felons didnt try to steal the cab, because maybe they would be dead and unable to rob some other innocent person. I hope the jury throws this case out as it well should be.

bornalaskan 02/29/12 - 09:56 pm
Cab Driver

Bad call robbery is robbery you let the wrong persons go .

jlmh 03/01/12 - 01:01 pm
They have now been identified

They have now been identified as Doug Nelson and Mary Mestas. For $435, couldn't they have flown from Anchorage to Kenai? One-way tickets for two adults would be about half that cab fare. They must not have planned on paying for anything from the beginning! I'm surprised he didn't expect an upfront fee for a distance like that.

BigRedDog 03/01/12 - 01:41 pm
Wasted His Rounds

He should have shot the guy in the leg and said he thought he was being robbed. End of problem, but 45 DAYS "Com'on Man"

kksalm 03/01/12 - 11:55 pm
Like a Hollywood movie

The cab driver is like the poor fellow Michael Douglas played in the 1993 movie Falling Down. "I'm the bad guy?" how did that happen?
45 days in jail for trying to make a citizens arrest seems a bit excessive. The cabbie was a victim more than once.

Citizen17 03/02/12 - 05:18 am

None of this is surprising anymore. Real criminals, the scum of society, continue to rob and steal at will due to the judicial systems' inability or unwillingness to prosecute and convict them. Again, the wrong person is being charged. At what point will we, as citizens, have to take the law into our own hands? When we are tired of government corruption? How about when you get robbed?

soldotna 03/02/12 - 11:41 am
It's sad

IMO if you deal with the police or courts you are more then likely going to be treated better if you are already part of the system (I.E. have a record) compared to not being part of the systems.

I don't know why this is but its very sad that criminals get treated better then people that are not criminals.

spwright 03/02/12 - 04:00 pm
ROK Marine 3/2/12

It is my understanding that the "Cabbie" Mr. Shin is Republic of Korea MARINE. a ROK Marine.
These are highly skilled Warriors & excellent Marksman .
Talk with any Veteran that has served w/ the ROK Marines

These 2 Turkeys that Ripped Him Off are fortunate to Be Alive.

Think SPRING ! SPW "Airborne"

jreece 03/05/12 - 09:48 am
Riders should be in jail!

Since the ride originated in Anchorage, it should follow under Anchorage jurisdiction for FRAUD! Put those 2 in jail! Ok, the cabbie made a mistake, I'm sure he was distraught at the time being stiffed, but the point is they screwed him! They should still have to pay or go to jail and still be forced restitution, hell even garnish their welfare check!
I drove cab here in Anchorage in the 70's during the pipeline, money was great. Our policy was ANY out of town fares must have the money up front left at the dispatch office for the fare. That way the driver doesn't get screwed or robbed at the other end for the funds the driver just received! I had lots of out of town fares, Seward, Hope, Girdwood alot and even 1 to Valdez. The cab company should have made this clear BEFORE the trip out of town! Put the bums in jail and give him his job back as a cabbie!
History note: My friend dispatch Jennit was robbed on Ft Rich years ago, the guy ran straight out of her cab toward the barracks and she shot him in the ass. They closed the base and found him hiding under the stairs. He went to jail and she got a little target practice in! Just sayin..

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