RCMP Supt. Jennifer Hyland with Luisa Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez-Valazquez, Morgan Maclean and Insp. Aaron Paradis. (Contributed)                                RCMP Supt. Jennifer Hyland with Luisa Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez-Valazquez, Morgan Maclean and Insp. Aaron Paradis. (Contributed)

RCMP Supt. Jennifer Hyland with Luisa Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez-Valazquez, Morgan Maclean and Insp. Aaron Paradis. (Contributed) RCMP Supt. Jennifer Hyland with Luisa Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez-Valazquez, Morgan Maclean and Insp. Aaron Paradis. (Contributed)

Three citizens honoured for stopping assault of taxi driver in Maple Ridge

Man was arrested at the scene in October and has plead guilty to aggravated assault.

Three local citizens were honoured by Ridge Meadows RCMP on Tuesday for helping a taxi driver who was being attacked.

Luisa Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez-Valazquez, Morgan Maclean were each presented with an Officer in Charge Certificate of Appreciation on Tuesday at the Maple Ridge detachment.

On Oct. 24, Maclean, a 28-year-old Pitt Meadows resident, was on his way home from the gym when he witnessed the attack and stopped to assist.

According to police, a taxi driver had picked up a fare in New Westminster and was travelling in the 19100-block of Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge when “the lone passenger started to attack the driver for no obvious reason. Before he knew it, the 67-year-old old driver was in the fight for his life and was honking his horn in an effort to attract attention.”

Maclean was one of the first to stop and help, calling 911 then stepping in to help the taxi driver and stop the attack.

Moments later, Rodriguez-Valazquez, 58, and his 17-year-old daughter, Luisa, who were on their way home from her soccer practice, stopped and also assisted.

Luisa had noticed the cab stopped on the busy road. She insisted her father turn around and go back to make sure the driver was alright.

“Upon arrival, they quickly realized the driver was in serious trouble. Jose did not hesitate to jump in and grabbed the assailant off the taxi driver, while Luisa called 911,” said Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk.

Ridge RCMP Supt. Jennifer Hyland and Insp. Aaron Paradis honoured all three on Tuesday.

“I am deeply touched that all three of you stopped to help a stranger. Your actions remind us all of the importance of caring and paying attention to one other. I am grateful and proud that you are part of our community,” Hyland said.

“Morgan, Luisa, and Jose’s assistance prevented further harm to the taxi driver and their actions bring credit to them and are in keeping with the highest standards of a Canadian citizen.”

Police said that Quinten Baker, a 40-year-old Maple Ridge resident, was arrested at the scene in October and has plead guilty to aggravated assault. He remains in custody and is awaiting sentencing.