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Cops: Cabbie fired assault rifle at woman he thought wasn't going to pay

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Vincent Laben (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center) Vincent Laben (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
The scene The scene

A cab driver faces attempted murder charges for allegedly firing an assault rifle after getting into an argument with a woman he believed was planning to stiff him Tuesday night.

A Columbia Police Department spokesperson says 33-year-old Vincent Laben has been charged with attempted murder, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.  

The incident happened around 11 p.m. at the downtown Clarion Hotel on Gervais Street. Officers say a Royal Cab driver got into an argument with a female passenger who he thought wasn't going to pay her tab.

The female told investigators that Laben picked her up at the airport and drove her to the hotel. She previously told the cabbie that she didn't have cash, only a debit card.

The victim says that she told Laben she would give him money after using the hotel's ATM when they arrived. Laben allegedly grabbed her phone inside the cab, causing a physical altercation between the two.

Police said the victim screamed for help and bystanders ran to her aid to stop the altercation.

At that point, the victim got out of the cab and ran to the back of the hotel. Laben grabbed an "AK-47 type" weapon from inside the cab and ran after her, according to an incident report.

Laben allegedly fired at least two rounds at her.

According the incident report, an off-duty University of South Carolina police officer heard the shots and ran across the street. The officer detained Laben at gunpoint until Columbia police arrived.

Nobody was injured. Police say there was some damage done to the hotel.

As he was being arrested, Laben complained of having chest pains. After being treated and released at an area hospital, he was transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

According to police, Laben is in the United States on a green card. A judge set his bond at $200,000.

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