Ajla Zekan, 21, of St. Louis has been charged for allegedly stabbing a cab driver 11 times and then stealing his cab on Feb. 4 in Imperial, the Jefferson County Prosecuting Office confirmed today (Feb. 10).
Zekan was charged on Saturday (Feb. 8) with first-degree assault, a class A felony punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison; first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle, a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison; and armed criminal action, an unclassified felony that carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison.
She was being held this morning in the St. Louis County Jail awaiting transfer to the Jefferson County Jail, said Tracy Panus, a St. Louis County Police media relations officer.
Zekan was being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reported.
She was arrested at about 4 p.m. Saturday when she was seen walking in the 10000 block of Kennerly Road in south St. Louis County, Panus said.
On Feb. 5, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office released photos of Zekan from surveillance footage taken at Dierbergs, 1240 Tesson Ferry Road, in south St. Louis County, not long before she was picked up by the taxi driver, a 48-year-old St. Louis man who works for United Cab Co. The Dierbergs store is near Mercy Hospital South, where she reportedly got into the cab at about 9 p.m. Feb. 4, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office got a call around 10:40 p.m. Feb. 4 about the attack, and the cab driver was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the report said.
Zekan reportedly asked the driver to take her to a location on Windemere Drive in Imperial. She rode in the back seat, and when the cab got to Windemere Drive and Ferris Court, she allegedly stabbed the driver several times with a knife that was about 4 to 6 inches long, the probable-cause statement in the case said.
The driver was able to get out of the cab and go to a nearby home to call for help. When the driver got out of the cab, Zekan got into the driver’s seat and allegedly stole the van, the report said.
The driver suffered serious injuries to his face, hand, chest, shoulder and lower torso, according to the report.
Capt. Gary Higginbotham said a possible motivation for the stabbing was a dispute over the fare, which the woman may not have been able to pay.
The cab, a van, was located on Telegraph Road near Forder Road in south St. Louis County, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Grant Bissell said.