Han Tai Lin, the driver of an alleged illegal taxi accused of beating up and threatening to kill a teen passenger, testified yesterday in Superior Court where he denied the charges and claimed that the boy actually tried to extort money from him.
Assistant public defender Matthew Meyer called his client, Lin, to the witness stand after the prosecution rested its case.
After assistant attorneys general Nicole Driscoll and Brian Flaherty announced that the government rested its case, Meyer and attorney Colin Thompson, counsel for Lin’s co-defendant Ji Jing Borja, moved for judgment of acquittal.
Camacho dismissed one count of criminal contempt and one count of assault and battery against Borja.
Camacho, however, ruled that the government was able to present enough evidence to proceed with the trial as to the charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping against Lin.
The judge also found sufficient evidence to proceed with the trial as to the charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping against Borja.
Camacho placed under advisement as to the charges of assault and battery and disturbing the peace against Lin, and as to the charge of disturbing the peace against Borja.
After the judge announced his ruling, the defense started calling their witnesses, including Lin.
Through an interpreter, Lin testified that the boy called for a taxi in Kagman and asked to be dropped in Tanapag on Oct. 7, 2012.
At the time, the boy was 16 years old.
Lin said while driving in the direction of Capital Hill, the boy threatened him that if he would not give him money as he would tell his father to put him in jail because he was engaged in illegal taxi.
The defendant said he told the boy to get down because he was scared of his threat.
Lin said the boy only smiled. He said with the boy still in the taxi, he proceeded to Garapan to pick up another passenger, Borja.
Lin said before picking up Borja, he stopped the taxi near the American Memorial Park where he told the boy again to get down. He said the boy did not do anything.
The driver said while on Middle Road on their way to Tanapag, the boy grabbed his bag and told him to open the door.
Lin said after he stepped on the brakes, the boy suddenly jumped out. Lin said he turned the car around because he was scared that the boy was injured or hurt.
Lin said he later proceeded to Mariana Resort and Spa where he dropped off Borja, who asked him to wait for a few minutes.
He said he then dropped Borja off at the 99 Cents area in Garapan, then he went home.
Lin said after that, he did not work that day because he was scared.
Lin said after a week, his neighbor told him that police officers stopped by his house. He said he was not there at that time.
Lin said he was thinking that police would arrest him because of the boy’s threat so he contacted Borja to help him.
Asked by Meyer why he asked Borja’s help, Lin said Borja could speak English and he was his witness.
Lin said he and Borja went to the police station then later to the Office of the Attorney General where they told what really happened.
Lin said at the OAG he talked with a certain Babauta and “that person,” pointing to assistant attorney general Flaherty.
“I explained everything,” the defendant said, referring to his meeting with Babauta and Flaherty.
Lin also pointed out that he and Borja are not good friends as he only met him once or twice.
Lin also denied that he threatened the boy with a screwdriver and punched or slapped him.
Assistant attorney general Driscoll will continue his cross-examination on Lin today, Thursday, at 8:30am.