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Island Lake man charged with attacking cab driver

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 5:22 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 5:30 p.m. CDT

MCHENRY – Police say an Island Lake man attacked his cab driver on New Year's Eve as he was being driven to his home.

McHenry County Sheriff's police said they responded to a call in the 900 block of River Road outside McHenry around 10:45 p.m. for a report of a battery that had just occurred.

Sheriff’s deputies met with the victim, who was parked alongside the road in his taxi cab. Police said the driver stated that he picked up a passenger, later identified as Jason M. Smalarz, 33, at a residence in McHenry.

Police said the cab driver told them that while driving to the passenger’s destination, Smalarz began to strike the driver in the head. The victim pulled the taxi over and called 911. Smalarz kicked the victim in the side and then fled the scene on foot, police said.

Sheriff's deputies located Smalarz in the area and took him into custody. The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office was contacted and approved a charge of aggravated battery.

Smalarz, 716 Dartmouth Drive, Island Lake, was transported to the McHenry County Correctional Facility and left in their custody where he was held on $25,000 bond.

Smalarz could face up to five years in prison on the charge. He is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 6.

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