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Cab driver honored for bravery

March 15, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

Frank Fultz said he is still leery of passengers two months after a man charged with killing a correctional officer allegedly hijacked his cab and held a gun to his head.

On Saturday, Fultz received a certificate from the Maryland Senate recognizing his bravery during an incident that he is trying to forget.

Fultz, 52, of Hagerstown, was driving a Miller Transportation cab early Jan. 26 and was called to Washington County Hospital to pick up a patient from the emergency room. The patient needed to be taken less than a mile from the hospital, he said.

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While Fultz was waiting outside of the hospital, a man "burst through the front doors," and got into his cab, he said.

The man, Brandon Morris, 20, was a Roxbury Correctional Institution inmate. He is being held on charges that he shot and killed the correctional officer who was guarding him on the fifth floor of the hospital. The officer, Jeffery Alan Wroten, died Jan. 27.

"I told him to get out of my cab," Fultz said of Morris. "I didn't know what he wanted."

Fultz said Morris told him not to talk and to drive to the Pennsylvania state line. Morris pointed a gun at Fultz for the entire ride, which lasted about 15 minutes, Fultz said.

Fultz said he tried to drive as slow as he could, hoping that police would catch up to them. A hospital security vehicle followed the cab and relayed information to police officers, he said.

"Without them, I'd have never been found that day," Fultz said.

Police officers followed the security vehicle, and the caravan drove north on U.S. 11 at 40 mph, according to reports. Fultz said he saw police officers behind him, and Morris did not want him to stop or slow down.

"Then, he grabbed the wheel and we hit a wall," Fultz said.

The cab crashed into a concrete barrier, and police have said that Morris got out of the taxi and ran. He was captured near the FedEx building on Industry Drive.

"Everything went in really fast motion," Fultz said of the moments after the crash. "I'm just glad there was nobody else in the cab. Just poor old me."

Fultz said the resolution he received Saturday was a surprise. The certificate recognized his bravery and "quick thinking," which led to the speedy capture of an escaped inmate.

"I just kept driving and kept my mouth shut," he said.

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