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Metro Digest / Local News in Brief

Victim Finds Alleged Attackers at Hospital

June 30, 1989

A taxi driver who was kidnaped, robbed and beaten by four people arrived at a Santa Monica emergency room to find two of his alleged attackers, one of whom was being treated.

"When I saw them I was very happy, because now the police could catch them," said Eshetu Bahiru, a 39-year-old Ethiopian emigre. "They almost killed me."

Bahiru spotted the men early Wednesday when a Santa Monica police officer escorted him to the Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center, where one of the suspects was receiving treatment for a gunshot wound to the ankle.

Police said Bahiru had just broken out of the trunk of his cab, where his assailants had left him, several blocks away. The escape ended a three-hour ordeal that began about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles, said Malibu Sheriff's Sgt. James Kagy.

Bahiru took three men and a 17-year-old girl to Topanga Canyon, where two of the men pulled guns, beat Bahiru over the head, and took his money and jewelry, said Kagy. They then tied and gagged him, before driving toward Los Angeles and locking him in the trunk. They abandoned the cab about 12:45 a.m. a few blocks from the hospital.

Police said David Castellon, 22, a transient, and the teen-ager, whose name was withheld because of her age, were arrested for investigation of armed robbery, kidnaping and auto theft.

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