A D.C. man who posed as a D.C. cab driver and assaulted other licensed drivers to protect his illegal business has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
The office of U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said Emero Tornero, 31, targeted victims late at night while they were alone.
Tornero was convicted of multiple counts of assault against Maryland and Virginia cab drivers, including one 78-year-old driver.
In a June 2008 incident, prosecutors said Tornero pulled along side a Maryland cab driver near Dupont Circle and slashed the other driver's tires. When the man got out to inspect the damage, prosecutors said Tornero chased the driver with his car the wrong way down a one-way street and over a sidewalk. That driver escaped without serious injury.
In a January incident, prosecutors said that Tornero slashed the tires of a 78-year-old cab driver at Connecticut Avenue and Columbia Road. Prosecutors said Tornero slashed the man's tires, and when the man got out to look at the damage, Tornero drove his car at the man to ram him. The 78-year-old victim jumped out of the way, but suffered a lung contusion and a broken rib.
In total, the U.S. Attorney's office said Tornero was convicted of 13 offenses spanning five separate attacks.
The attorney's office said Tornero's motive was a false belief that the other drivers were stealing his business.