Man accused of beating, carjacking Orion Township cab driver

By Dave Bartkowiak Jr. , Online News Editor, @DaveBartko, dbartkowiak@wdiv.com
Published On: Jul 08 2013 11:09:08 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2013 12:37:21 PM EDT
ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. -

A 46-year-old Commerce Township man has been charged in the June 22 carjacking and robbery of an Orion Township cab driver.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office says Rene Apalatagui beat the cab driver, dragged him from the vehicle and robbed him of $50 after the driver had picked up Apalatagui from the Catalina Lounge in Orion Township.

The cab driver told Sheriff's deputies that his attacker was armed with a hammer. A Sheriff's K9 unit later found the taxi cab near the site of the carjacking. The criminal was on the loose.

However, Sheriff's detectives were able to track down Apalatagui through phone records and interviews. He had been staying at various locations throughout Oakland County. He was found hiding in an apartment at the Waldon Lake Apartments complex in Orion Township.

The Sheriff's Office says Apalatagui had threatened a female friend. She fled the apartment in fear and called the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office says Apalatagui has a drug habit and committed the carjacking during a recent binge.

Apalatagui was arraigned July 5 on one count of carjacking and one count of unarmed robbery. His bond was set at $150,000.

If convicted, he could face 20 years to life in prison.

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