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Ex-RBR Honorary Colonel faces down taxi robber who claimed he had a knife

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Taxi attack: Eugene Raynor (File photograph)

A near octogenarian taxi driver and former soldier faced down a man who tried to rob him, The Royal Gazette can reveal.

The would-be thief bit off more than he could chew when he tackled Colonel Eugene Raynor, a former Commanding Officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment and ex-Honorary Colonel.

The passenger claimed he had a knife and tried to grab Colonel Raynor’s money clip after they reached what he said was his destination.

Colonel Raynor, 79, who stepped down as Honorary Colonel in 2019, said: “I wasn’t really scared – I was just too annoyed to be scared. But I was bracing myself to defend myself if I had to.

“The only thing I could have reached was his face. That’s what I was thinking of.”

Army strong: Colonel Eugene Raynor in his Honorary Colonel of the RBR uniform (File photograph)

Colonel Raynor added: “The military training certainly helps you to keep a cool head and think in situations like that.

“Over the years, I have had a lot of people walk away without paying, but never has anybody been threatening or tried to rob me.”

But Colonel Raynor added that taxi driving had become more dangerous in recent times.

He said: “They are facing this kind of thing more and more. Not so long ago, a driver was stabbed. It’s one of the risks of being out there at night.”

Colonel Raynor added: “There are people with drug problems who are desperate. They get themselves in trouble, get some drugs on credit, as it were, and they’re being threatened and they’re desperate for money.”

Colonel Raynor picked up the man at the taxi rank on Church Street, Hamilton last Thursday about 7.30pm.

The passenger got in the back of the cab and asked to be taken to Pond Hill in Pembroke.

He said: “As we were going along Parson’s Road, he said he wanted to go to the top of Glebe Road by the church.

“We got there and I was reaching into my shirt pocket to pull out my money clip and he reached over my shoulder and tried to grab it and said ‘I want your money’.

“I dropped the money clip on the floor and he said there was a guy on the corner with a bike who would come and shoot me if I didn’t hand over the money.

“I told him no way in hell was he getting the money and told him to get out of the car.”

Colonel Raynor said the man refused and he drove off with the cab door still open and headed back to Hamilton.

He explained: “My intention was to take him round to the police station, but I figured he was going to jump out. I was going at a fair speed and all the time he was reaching out to me and threatening me.”

Colonel Raynor said he headed back to the Church Street rank and the man fled after he stopped.

He added: “There were people on the crossing and there was traffic going by on the other side of the road. When I came to a standstill, he jumped out, ran back up Wesley Street and disappeared.”

Colonel Raynor said the man was the man was about 6ft tall, probably aged in his 30s, of slim build and with a light brown complexion.

He was wearing light blue jeans, a white t-shirt and a white hat, similar to a sun hat of fishing hat, and was wearing a Covid-19 face mask.

Colonel Raynor became the first Black Commanding Officer of the then-Bermuda Regiment in 1980 and stood down four years later.

But he later became a member of the Defence Board and was appointed Honorary Colonel in 1999.

Colonel Raynor joined the then-segregated military as a private soldier in the Bermuda Militia Artillery in 1961.

He achieved the rank of Corporal in the BMA before he was commissioned in 1964.

He was one of the founding officers of the integrated Bermuda Regiment, formed from the largely Black BMA and the mostly White Bermuda Rifle Corps in 1965.

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Published March 03, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated March 03, 2022 at 7:37 am)

Ex-RBR Honorary Colonel faces down taxi robber who claimed he had a knife

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