Beaten Scottsdale cab driver dies 3 weeks after attack

A 39-year-old cab driver died Monday night after police said he was assaulted by a customer’s boyfriend at a Scottsdale apartment complex near Camelback and Miller roads, Scottsdale police confirmed.

Andrew Carnevale had been in a hospice facility for more than week after he was moved from Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center where he’d been since the Feb. 3 incident.

The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of Carnevale’s death.

Carnevale witnessed an argument between his accused attacker, DB Starnes III, and Starnes’ girlfriend, according to court documents. Carnevale and Starnes, 36, became involved in a fight at some point during or immediately after the couple’s argument.

Starnes told police he defended himself after Carnevale attacked him while his girlfriend screamed at him. Starnes attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Scottsdale police have declined to discuss whether Carnevale had intervened in the argument and said the investigation is ongoing.

Starnes remains in custody on $175,000 bond following his arrest on suspicion of aggravated assault in the incident that left Carnevale in a coma with severe head trauma. Starnes was also charged with misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend and misdemeanor criminal damage for destroying her property, court records show. Both crimes are considered acts of domestic violence.

Carnevale had picked up Starnes’ girlfriend and another couple from a Scottsdale bar at about 1 a.m. Feb. 3, court records show. The friends had been bar hopping and requested a cab to take them to an apartment near Camelback and Miller roads.

Starnes and his girlfriend had argued earlier in the night and he’d returned home after separating from the group, court records show.

When Carnevale dropped the trio off, Starnes argued with his girlfriend as she exited the cab, court records show. A 911 caller reported hearing a man and woman screaming at each other. Another 911 caller said they saw a woman get pushed to the ground.

Police said Carnevale sustained severe head trauma in the fight and reportedly suffered seizures, court records show. He almost died at the scene and became comatose, police wrote in a probable cause statement.

Starnes had fled the scene of the fight, but police discovered him a couple hours later hiding underneath a staircase, court records show.

Scottsdale police noted Starnes, who had moved to Scottsdale from Michigan a week before the incident, had a swollen right hand with scrapes and pieces of skin hanging from it, according to courts document. He also had a scraped knee, which police say occurred when he and Carnevale fell to the ground during the fight. The arresting officer wrote that the amount of force Starnes reportedly used against Carnevale was neither “necessary or reasonable.”

Scottsdale police Sgt. Ben Hoster, a department spokesman, said investigators will review the possibility of additional charges with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office now that Carnevale has died.

The County Attorney had not received confirmation of Carnevale’s death early Tuesday morning, spokesman Jerry Cobb said. If Scottsdale police determine additional charges against Starnes are warranted, they will recommend them to the County Attorney who will decide whether to file them.

“We’ll evaluate any new information once we receive it,” Cobb said.

Starnes was arraigned Monday on the original charges and his next court appearance is slated for April 13.

Craig Hughes, CEO of Total Transit, Discount Cab’s parent company, released a statement Tuesday that said the company’s employees were heartbroken to learn of Carnevale’s death.

“While Andrew had only been with our company a short time, his energy and enthusiasm for his job — as well as his desire to make people smile and laugh — immediately made an impression on everyone who crossed his path, including his fellow drivers and passengers,” Hughes said. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to his family and friends during this very difficult time.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to accept donations to help Carnevale’s family with medical expenses. Friends have also set up a website for people to post photos, stories and share memories of Carnevale.

Article source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2015/02/24/scottsdale-cab-driver-beaten-dies/23938459/