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Elmhurst man punches taxi driver, steals cab, in Urbana

Published: Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 11:36 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 12:59 a.m. CDT

A 21-year-old University of Illinois student from Elmhurst was arrested Saturday morning after he allegedly punched a taxi driver, stole the taxi and crashed it into another vehicle.

Thomas Hart, of Elmhurst, was in the taxi with two other men when he allegedly punched the driver in the face several times at about 2:20 a.m. in the 2500 block of East Washington Street, Urbana Police said.

The driver exited the vehicle and Hart got into the driver's seat and drove away in the taxi, according to police.

After driving for about three miles, Hart crashed the vehicle into another car on Washington Street about two miles east of High Cross Road, police said. The Champaign County Sheriff's Office responded to the crash, but could not be reached Sunday for details.

Hart was arrested and charged with aggravated battery and theft of a motor vehicle, police said. He was released Saturday morning after posting $2,500 bond, according to an official from the Champaign County Jail.

Media reports said Hart will also be charged by the sheriff's office with driving under the influence of alcohol.

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