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Columbia teen pleads guilty in assault of cab driver

One of the four Columbia teens charged in what police ruled as the attempted murder of a cab driver in March has pleaded guilty in connection with the crime, marking the first judgment in the case.

Khalid Khaheim Woods, 19, of the 9200 block of Wandering Way, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and conspiracy to commit assault in Howard County Circuit Court on Aug. 8, according to online court records.

Woods and the three other teens -- Johnam Perez-Rivera, 16, Woody Rousseau, 17, and Chellby Ofosusafori, 17, -- were all students at Oakland Mills High School at the time of the incident.

The three remaining teens, who are being charged as adults, face attempted murder, assault and armed robbery charges, with trials scheduled for September. Woods, who was originally charged with attempted murder, is scheduled to be sentenced in November, according to online records.

According to the charging documents, Woods, Perez-Rivera and Rousseau told police the attack was planned, and that the goal, according to Rousseau, was to rob the driver.

Ofosusafori did not tell police that the attack was premeditated, according to the documents.

Police said they received a call from a cab driver about 10:45 p.m. on March 1, stating that he had been assaulted after picking up four men on Sweet Fern in Columbia.

According to the documents, the teens were headed to Sewell's Orchard Road for a party when one of the passengers told the driver to pull over. As he did, the passenger seated directly behind him, who police believe is Perez-Rivera, pulled a karate belt around the driver's neck and began choking him, police said.

The front passenger, believed to be Woods, pulled out a hand gun, which police believe is a BB gun, according to the charging documents, and threatened to kill the driver, police said.

Fearing for his life, the driver accelerated the cab and struck a tree, deploying the car’s air bags, police said. The driver, who sustained minor facial injuries, escaped to a house where he called 911, police said.

Inside the cab, police recovered two BB guns, a yellow karate belt, two five-dollar bills, and a pair of black framed glasses, which police believe belong to Rousseau.

The second BB gun, which was not pulled out in the incident, also belonged to Rousseau, according to the documents. 

Police used the evidence and cell phone records to link the four teens to the incident.  

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