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Cab driver fights off robber in Town of Tonawanda holdup

A cab driver foiled a robbery early Wednesday in the Town of Tonawanda when he fought off the bandit and detained her until police arrived, police said.

The cab driver picked up a lone fare at the corner of Roswell Avenue and River Road about 1:30 a.m. in the Old Town neighborhood, according to Capt. Joseph F. Carosi.

Once in the back seat, the woman grabbed the driver by the throat and demanded his money, police said. The driver, fearing an accomplice was about to join in, accelerated away from the scene and fought with the robber while the vehicle was in motion, police said.

The cab driver told police the robber attempted to rifle through his pockets and grab the steering wheel. The driver was able to maintain control of the vehicle and flag down assistance from another driver, police said.

When the driver stopped the cab, the robber fled on foot with his cell phone. Police said the cabbie chased the robber, restrained her and regained possession of his property. With the assistance of the other driver, the cabbie kept the robber on scene until police arrived and took her into custody.

Lisa M. Park, 33, of River Road, was charged with third-degree robbery, second-degree reckless endangerment and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a misdemeanor. Park is awaiting arraignment in Town Court.