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Teen Arrested In Taxi Homicide Case

SCRANTON — Police have someone in custody in connection with a deadly shooting of a taxi driver Friday morning.

A teenager is being questioned about a homicide in the early morning death of a cab driver in south Scranton.

His body was found in the vehicle Friday morning and soon after the neighborhood was filled with police.

Just after noon, undercover police cars swarmed an apartment on Scranton’s west side. Hours of investigation had zeroed in on 1009 Washburn Street. It became the second crime scene of the day for Scranton police.

Nathaniel Pagan was getting his car serviced right next door.

“They took somebody out without cuffs but they put him in the car,” Pagan said.

Scranton police detectives took that person around a wooded area nearby then to Scranton Police headquarters for questioning.

A dog searched the area afterward looking for evidence that could lead police back to the first crime scene: Crown Avenue in south Scranton in front of the entrance to Valley View Terrace apartments where a McCarthy Flowered Cab driver was found dead just before 5:00 a.m. Friday. The taxi was still running.

Investigators say the driver, Vincent Darbenzio, 47, of Scranton suffered two gunshot wounds to his head. His boss says Darbenzio had only been on the job for five weeks.

“At the very least, that’s someone’s son who’s senselessly no longer with us,” said Misty Losavich.

The shooting rattled neighbors at Valley View Terrace apartments, especially one woman who didn’t want to appear on camera.

“My brother is a cab driver,” she said. “Just a couple weeks also, and he’s maybe 100 pounds soaking wet so what would he do to defend himself?”

Neighbor Raymond Burks was surprised Darbenzio and other cab drivers, don’t have defenses in place. Burks is from Los Angeles where cab drivers are protected by bulletproof glass.

“I mean, like, there’s a bulletproof partition and there’s a slot where you can slide the money through and he gives you your change. It’s not like here where it’s all open air and stuff.”



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