Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Taxi Driver Arrested for Shooting Man in McAdoo; Facing Attempted Murder Charges

McAdoo Police have arrested a Hazleton man for attempted murder from incident over the weekend.

According to McAdoo Police, on July 7th 2019 around 5:19 am Police responded to the unit block of W. Blaine Street for a gunshot victim. The victim was lying on a garage floor and advised he had been shot.

The victim later advised he had been in West Hazleton when he called Latino Taxi Service to get back to McAdoo. Upon arriving in McAdoo the victim’s debit/credit card would not go through to pay for the taxi service. The victim advised a verbal argument escalated to the driver producing a firearm and shooting him.

Police did a canvas of the area and recovered a 9mm shell casing along with a holster for a semi automatic pistol. Video surveillance was also reviewed and shows the taxi parking in the unit block of W. Blaine Street around 4:20 in the morning. The video shows two occupants exiting the taxi. The reported conflict resulting in the victim being shot ensues, and the taxi leaves the area, and drives directly in front of the McAdoo Police Department without stopping.

McAdoo Police spoke to the other person seen exiting the taxi and their story verified the victim’s story.

On July 8th McAdoo Police went to Latino Taxi Service in West Hazleton and were able to ascertain the driver of the taxi at that time to be Francis Toca, 38, of Hazleton.

Later on July 8th McAdoo Police received a call from the wife of Francis Toca. She relayed to police that Francis was driving the taxi and picked up the victim and other passenger. Reportedly the victim and the other passenger began to argue with Mr. Toca and stated they weren’t going to pay. The victim and the other passenger allegedly put on masks and put their hands in their pockets as if they had guns. Mr. Toca got out of the vehicle and the passengers ran away.

Francis Toca came to the McAdoo Police Department later on July 8th and was taken into custody. He was arraigned before the on call magistrate, Judge Plachko on charges of attempted murder of the third degree, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, recklessly endangering another person, and simple assault.

He was committed to the Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of $250,000 straight cash bail.

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