Brewer police have charged a 20-year-old man from New York with robbing a taxi driver on Saturday night after he allegedly placed a BB gun to the driver’s head, then left the cab without paying an $8 fare.
The alleged altercation happened after the suspect — Jonnatan Gutierrez-Gomez of Amityville, New York — and another man took a taxi from Larkin Street in Bangor to the Walmart Supercenter off Wilson Street in Brewer, according to court records at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Just before 7:30 p.m., the taxi driver called police from outside the Walmart to allege that he had been robbed at gunpoint.
When Sgt. Edward Willey of the Brewer Police Department arrived at the scene, the driver said that one of the passengers had become angry about the amount of the cab fare and had forcibly pressed what appeared to be a handgun against his head, Willey said in a probable cause affidavit.
Then, both passengers allegedly left the cab and walked into the Walmart without paying their approximately $8 fare.
Soon, both men came back out of the store and officers arrested Gutierrez-Gomez, who matched a description provided by the cab driver.
While Gutierrez-Gomez did not have a gun on him, he allegedly told police that he had been carrying a BB gun earlier and had hidden it in the Walmart. He later helped police locate the gray BB gun, which resembled a regular handgun, inside the store, Willey said. He had placed it under a stack of tan pants, according to testimony from the other man who rode the taxi that night.
Later, during an interview at the Penobscot County Jail, Gutierrez-Gomez allegedly told police that he’d gotten into an argument with the taxi driver after they disagreed about the fare and that his BB gun accidentally slipped out of his jacket pocket when he was leaving the cab. He suggested that the driver may have misinterpreted that as a threat, Willey said in the affidavit.
Police did not arrest the other passenger, who allegedly confirmed some of the details provided to them by the taxi driver, according to Willey.
They charged Gutierrez-Gomez with robbery, a class B felony, and two class D misdemeanors, assault and criminal threatening. On Monday evening, he was still being held at the Penobscot County Jail after an initial court hearing earlier in the day.
A judge set his bail at $5,000 secured cash, according to court records.