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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Homeless man is accused of assaulting taxi driver

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  • WESTFALL TWP. - A homeless man is being held in Pike County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail after a bizarre assault on a female taxi driver.
         In a criminal complaint, Eastern Pike Regional Police report that on March 14, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Mario Agostini entered a taxi in Port Jervis, N.Y., and asked for a ride to Wal-Mart.
        While the woman was driving, Agostini, 33, asked if they could first stop at the Adult Video Outlet in Port Jervis.
       He went into the store, bought a gag mask and other various items, according to witnesses, and then returned to the taxi and asked to go to Lowe’s.
        When the taxi arrived at Lowe’s, Agostini changed his mind and said he wanted to go to Home Depot.
          When the driver arrived at Home Depot and stopped the vehicle, Agostini, who was seated behind her, reached forward and started choking her and held a knife up to her throat, the criminal complaint said.
          Agostini then got out of the taxi, walked up to the driver’s door, knife in hand, and ordered the driver to get out. The driver tried to call on the radio to her dispatcher for help, however Agostini ripped off the microphone.
       Agostini forced the woman out of the car and into the back seat. He then got into the driver’s seat and drove the taxi out of the parking lot, with the woman begging him to release her, according to the complaint.
        Agostini drove the taxi out of the Home Depot parking lot and into the parking lot of Best Western, and continued around the building to the rear, near a pavilion.
       There Agostini pulled the woman out of the car at knife point and ordered her to remove her clothing. When she refused, he attempted to do it himself while holding her at knife point.
         She was able to break away and call police. Eastern Pike Regional Police apprehended him in a room at the nearby Hampton Inn.
          He was charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and robbery of a motor vehicle.

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