QUEENS — A Forest Hills man suspected of threatening three cabdrivers with what he said was an HIV-tainted syringe was arrested this weekend, capping a terrifying weeklong spree, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Investigators nabbed Chanan Aulov on Saturday around 3:40 p.m., about 15 minutes after he threatened the third cabdriver within nine days, police said.
The suspect, who is originally from Austria, has been arrested at least half a dozen times dating back to 2003 on charges that include robbery and assault, according to police. Several of those arrests were sealed, so the details were not immediately available.
On Saturday, Aulov, 31, got into a cab and, holding a needle to the driver’s head, told him: “Do not move and give me all of the money you have,” according to the criminal complaint. The driver gave him $45, cops said.
Shortly afterward, police arrested the suspect on 62nd Road and Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills, near where the incident took place, the cops added.
The first incident occurred on Friday, May 3, about 9:50 p.m. The suspect hopped into a cab near 108th Street and 63rd Drive in Forest Hills, police said. He asked to be taken to 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, and immediately said he had a gun and demanded money, according to the criminal complaint.
The driver stopped the car, and after both the driver and the suspect got out, Aulov allegedly took out a syringe and said: “Give me your money, I have AIDS, I will stick you,” according to the complaint.
When the driver refused to comply, the suspect said: “See you later,” and fled on foot, police said.
About an hour later, the suspect got into another cab near 62nd Road and 102nd Street, authorities said.
Holding a syringe with red liquid inside, he told the driver: “I have AIDS, I need money. I have a syringe with AIDS blood in it, give me your money, or I’ll push the AIDS blood into you,” according to the criminal complaint.
The driver gave him approximately $100 and jumped out of the car. The suspect then snatched the GPS from the windshield and fled on foot, according to the criminal complaint.
It was not clear if the syringe was tainted with the disease. No injuries were reported.
After Aulov was arrested, cops said they found a bag of cocaine and seven additional syringes in his pockets.
Aulov was charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail and is due back in court on May 23.
Phone calls to Aulov's lawyer on Monday morning were not immediately returned.