By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — PEABODY — Police say a man hailed a taxi in Salem early yesterday morning and then assaulted and robbed the driver when they arrived at his destination on Route 1.
Shortly before 5:30 a.m., a driver with Salem Taxi picked up a fare by Lafayette Park in Salem and drove the man — described as being white, 5-foot-10, about 35 years old and having a large, muscular build and a tan T-shirt — to the parking lot of the Bagel World Bakery at 246 Newbury St.
When they arrived, the suspect got out of the vehicle, grabbed the driver, punched him in the face and said, “Give me your wallet,” said Lt. Arthur Yeo. The suspect made off with about $600 in cash and fled into a nearby mobile home park at 252 Newbury St.
Aided by state police, local officers searched the area but were unable to find the suspect. There were no cameras in the parking lot where the incident occurred and local residents didn’t report seeing anything unusual, said Yeo.
The driver refused medical attention.
Police are hoping to obtain a fingerprint from a water bottle the suspect left behind in the taxi, Yeo said.