Off-duty cop rescues cab driver from violent beating

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

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DORAVILLE, Ga. - A Doraville cab driver said a customer would have beaten her to death if not for an off-duty police officer who stopped to check her taxi.

Illiana Gallardo, 50, suffered a fractured nose and finger. She also needed 10 stitches in her head and continues to deal with headaches.

"He pulled my hair back and he started hitting me with the bottle," Gallardo told Channel 2's Kerry

Kavanaugh via phone. "And he started hitting my head, my nose and my face."

Gallardo said she was dropping off the customer in at an apartment complex off Steve Reynolds Boulevard.

Osmel Enriquez, 28, argued with Gallardo over the $30 cab fare. Enriquez used a 750ml bottle of tequila as a weapon, according to his arrest warrant.

"Take my money, take my phone, please don't hit me," Gallardo said she told Enriquez.

But Enriquez was not interested.

"That's the only thing he said, 'I just want to kill you,'" she said.

Gwinnett County police said an off-duty officer on a security detail spotted the cab and the commotion from the beating happening inside.

Investigators said that when the officer approached the car, there were two people inside; the bloodied and beaten cab driver and the customer in the back seat.

"He (the off-duty officer) saved me," said Gallardo. "He was my guardian angel."
Gallardo is going to Florida where she will recover among family.


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