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 email@example.com.