Suspect charged in armed robbery of Lyft driver in Richfield

A suspect’s use of his girlfriend’s vehicle and gas station rewards card helped lead to his Feb. 2 arrest for the robbery of a Lyft driver at gunpoint.

Fontain D. Taylor, 25, of Minneapolis, faces a charge of first-degree robbery for the incident.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court, a driver for the ride-share service Lyft was blocked by another vehicle at West 70th Street and Queen Avenue in Richfield as he transported a passenger Jan. 9.

The victim reported around 9 p.m. that the other vehicle, which contained three or four individuals, came to a stop in front of him, with the front passenger of the other vehicle exiting and demanding the victim’s belongings at gun point. The victim relinquished his wallet and cell phone.

Hours after the robbery, the victim learned one of his credit cards was used at a nearby Walgreens and SuperAmerica. A SuperAmerica Rewards card belonging to Taylor’s girlfriend was also used during the transaction at the gas station, according to charges.

When Minneapolis Police responded to an assault call Jan. 10, officers located a BB gun belonging to Taylor. The revolver-style gun matched the description of the weapon used in the robbery, according to the complaint. Police also learned the holder of the rewards card used after the robbery belonged to Taylor’s girlfriend.

Further, when police executed a search warrant at the residence of the defendant’s girlfriend, they learned that Taylor frequently used a vehicle belonging to her. The vehicle matched the description of the one used in the robbery, according to the complaint.

The defendant had previously filed a report involving the theft of property involving the same vehicle, the complaint notes.

Taylor told police the BB gun was his, but that he had lent it to a friend who was the actual perpetrator, adding that he drove his friend to Walgreens and may have went inside with him.

The victim could not identify the suspect in a photo array. However, a Walgreens employee remembered the suspect, who the witness said had multiple bank cards and did not know the PIN for a card he used when he tried to get cash back during the transaction.

Taylor is in Hennepin County Jail, held on $60,000 bail.

Contact Andrew Wig at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @RISunCurrent.