DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver district attorney has formally charged two men in connection with the murder of a taxi driver in September.
Dasean Perry and Nicholas McKinney have been charged with one count of first-degree felony murder.
Darren Bloomquist was driving a taxi on Sept. 5 after receiving a call to 20000 East Mitchell Place in Green Valley Ranch when he was shot and killed in an apparent robbery.
The charges allege that Perry, 19, and McKinney, 18, were participating in an attempt to rob Bloomquist, 49, when he was shot and killed. McKinney, who was 17 at the time, is being charged as an adult.
“This is great news for the Metro Taxi family, the family of Darren Bloomquist, and Denver as a whole,” said Robert McBride, owner and operator of Metro Taxi, in a statement. “Darren’s tragic death shook us up beyond measure, and we are glad to see that Denver’s finest has made progress.”
Perry and McKinney remain in custody without bond. They are scheduled to appear in Denver District Court on Wednesday to be advised of the charges.
A different teenager was arrested in connection with Bloomquist’s murder back in September but that teen wasn’t charged in the case because there was not enough information to substantiate charges.
Bloomquist had taken the job moonlighting as a cab driver to help pay medical bills for his disabled wife. She said that she’s grateful to the detectives for all of their hard work in tracking down her husband’s alleged killers and that the family is now prepared for the legal system to take care of the rest.
“We didn’t just lose a driver, we lost a friend. Darren’s wife too lost a friend and loving husband. And as for Denver? They lost a valuable member of the community. Darren deserves justice, and we’re one step closer to getting it,” said McBride.
CBS4’s Rick Sallinger broke the news to McKinney’s mother that her son had been arrested when he approached her at home.
“What do you think about him being charged with this?” Sallinger asked her.
“I think it’s very wrong for him to have done that. And if he did do that, that was wrong, you know, to do that to a cab driver, and he has to pay for it,” she replied.
Metro Taxi Operations Manager Sean McBride says some drivers even quit after the murder.
“I do believe we probably lost a couple of drivers over it to just fear being out there out … our drivers work 24/7,” McBride said.
Unlike taxis in some other cities like New York, there are no physical barriers between the drivers and passengers in the cabs. New safety programs were put in place after the murder.
“I just do what I can do, you can’t go around worrying about that,” cab driver Dennis Hobbs said. “I think he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Hobbs says he does what he can to avoid dangerous areas. Each cab is equipped with an emergency button, but while Bloomquist had indicated he might have trouble in his cab, he didn’t have a chance to activate the switch.