One Shaken Cabbie

Mike Wagers, 33, a cab driver for Community Yellow Cab, tells the media Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005 in Newport, Ky., how he drove Jennifer and George Hyatte to Columbus, Oh. from Erlanger, Ky., Wednesday not knowing they were wanted fugitives. The Hyatte's had been sought since Tuesday in the fatal shooting of a guard who was leading George Hyatte from a courthouse hearing in KIngston, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Kohl) AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
It was a horrible crime, what happened in Tennessee earlier this week, when a woman bent on springing her husband from a courthouse shot and killed a corrections officer who was guarding him.

George and Jennifer Hyatte escaped and were on the run. From Tennessee they went to northern Kentucky and it was there the story took its most interesting twist.

Mike Wagers is a cab driver. He got a call this week to pick up a couple at a motel in Erlanger, Kentucky. Wagers was blissfully ignorant of the news this week. He knew nothing about the escaped fugitives. He told me it's not uncommon to get customers who want to travel long distances, usually from airport to airport. So he was naturally suspicious about the couple, who were headed not to an airport, but a motel, for a sales meeting they said -- an Amway sales meeting. And this is where Mike Wagers' untold hours behind the wheel really kicked in. Wagers told me, "Ya know what was wrong? They didn't try to sell me anything."

The Hyattes did pay the fare. So Wagers headed back to Kentucky and didn't give it another thought until a friend called and said, "You just brought two people to Columbus?"

"Yeah" says Wagers.

"You better call the cops."

Wagers did and less than an hour later the Hyattes were in custody. When I spoke with him, Wagers was still shaking.



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.


By Harry Smith
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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