Passenger dies, other passenger arrested after attacking Chico taxi driver

Local News

CHICO, Calif. (KTXL) — One of two passengers who attacked a Chico taxi driver early Sunday morning died while the other was arrested after both men jumped from the moving car.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said just before 4 a.m., the owner of a taxi company called 911 to say he had been attacked by two men in the area of Lone Pine Avenue.

The taxi driver, who was eventually hospitalized, told investigators he had picked up the men in Chico and was driving them to an unincorporated area when one of the passengers started firing a gun in the car. Both men then started attacking the driver, the sheriff’s office said.

Detectives said they later discovered both men got out of the taxi while it was still moving.

As the investigation unfolded, the sheriff’s office said multiple people called 911 after seeing a “prowler” around homes near Lone Pine Avenue.

When deputies got to the area they found one of the taxi’s passengers, 28-year-old Chico resident Victor Hernandez, dead in the road. His cause of death has not been reported.

According to the sheriff’s office, the second passenger, identified as 22-year-old Willows resident Jose Huerta, was found in a backyard.

Huerta was later charged on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injury and violating the terms and conditions of his probation. He was also charged with burglary after investigators said he stole from a trailer behind a Lone Pine Avenue house.

Anyone with more information about the assault has been asked to call Butte County detectives at 530-538-7671.

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