Cops catch cabbie's carjackers

The two thugs who carjacked and robbed a cabbie on Valentine's Day, beating him so severely he needed 100 staples to close a head wound, are cousins who police were able to arrest earlier today, thanks to tipsters who recognized them from video surveillance footage, said Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives.

Dawand Williams, 25, and Nahfeeh Williams, 18, whose last known address was on Mifflin Street near 20th in South Philadelphia, were charged with aggravated assault and related offenses for the attack on a 53-year-old driver for County Cab. That man, whose name wasn't released, remains at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania after surgery, Walker said.

The driver picked up the cousins just after 11 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, Walker said. The pair directed him to take them to the housing projects at 82nd Street and Lindbergh Boulevard, where one took off his belt and wrapped it around the driver's neck while the other rifled through the driver's pockets and stole his wallet, Walker said. Unsatisfied with the $100 they found, they beat driver with an unknown object until he gave them his pin numbers for his debit cards, Walker said.

They then chucked him in the taxi's trunk and drove around for awhile before parking the cab near 82nd Street and Lyons Avenue around 1 a.m., instructing him to free himself only after he'd given them time to get away, Walker said. After escaping the trunk, the driver then drove to his employer's base at 68th and Upland streets, where his colleagues called for an ambulance.

"It was a difficult case, because the victim was sedated and grabbed from behind, so he probably didn't get a good look at these guys anyway," Walker said. So investigators enlisted SEPTA to get surveillance video from the terminal. Sure enough, detectives quickly spotted the cousins roaming in and out of the station and climbing into the cab, the only one curbside waiting for fares, Walker said. After publicizing video stills of the suspects, multiple tipsters called and helped lead police to an apartment in on Copley Road in Upper Darby, where the cousins were staying with a relative, Walker said. The money and debit cards weren't recovered, but police found a hoodie one suspect wore in the surveillance video in the Upper Darby apartment, Walker added.

"This was a brutal attack, clearly thought out," Walker said. "But fortunately, security cameras have been upgraded so well that we were able to get some very good video from SEPTA to solve this case."

Court records show no adult record for Dawand Williams. Nahfeeh Williams has two prior arrests for theft and trespassing, records show.