2 people arrested for attempting to stiff cab driver out of a fare

A man and woman are accused of trying to stiff a cab driver of a fare to take them from Minneapolis to Eau Claire.

25-year old Jacob Mazurek of Minneapolis and 21-year old Naomi Paternoga have each been charged with a misdemeanor count of fraud on a taxi cab. They are both out on bond and return to court in April.

According to the criminal complaint, an Eau Claire officer was sent to the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library Friday afternoon for a fraud case. A cab driver for Gopher Taxi told the officer he was contacted by 2 people at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for a ride to the Eau Claire library. The driver got the library, and the meter showed a fee total of $269. The male passenger got out and said he needed to get his credit card from someone inside the library. He then walked inside. The female passenger got out, stood on the sidewalk for a short time, and then also went inside the library. They did not return to settle the fare or offer an explanation, so the driver called police.

The officer found Mazurek and Paternoga inside, and the cab driver positively identified them as the suspects. They then began arguing with each other about who was responsible for the fare. Neither one of them had money or credit cards to pay the fare, so they were arrested because the officer believed they had no intent to pay the fare.

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