Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A cab driver who was taken prisoner by the three inmates who recently escaped from Orange County’s main jail and who one of the escapees wanted to kill is keeping mum about his ordeal and staying out of the limelight.

Orange County Sheriff’s officials say the three inmates got into a cab not far from the lockup after breaking out on Jan. 22. The cabbie drove them 40 miles to Rosemead, stopping at a Target store, where the three went shopping. When they returned, one of them allegedly pressed a gun to the taxi driver’s rib cage.

Over the next several days, the fugitives’ prisoner was forced to accompany the trio on a flight from justice that stretched to the Bay area. Somehow, the inmates kept their prisoner concealed.

But the escape effort began to crumble at a hotel in San Jose. One of the escapees, Hossein Nayeri, 37, of Newport Beach, wanted to kill the cab driver and “bury his body,” according to Sheriff’s Capt. Jeffrey Hallock, a department spokesman. Bac Duong, 43, of Santa Ana, refused and the two men got into a fight.

The next day, when Nayeri and Jonathan Tieu, 20, of Fountain Valley left the motel to have the windows tinted on a van they had stolen, Duong and the taxi driver fled the motel in the cab, driving to Rosemead, according to the sheriff’s department.

Duong set the cab driver free Jan. 29, returned to Santa Ana and surrendered.

Police have not identified the cab driver, who suffered minor injuries, according to Hallock. The driver was contacted by the Los Angeles Times Monday but declined to be interviewed.

—City News Service

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