For Immediate Release - January 29, 2007

Cab Driver And His Alleged Robber Both Arraigned Today

A man who allegedly robbed a Lawrence cab driver at knifepoint - and the driver who then allegedly shot the robber as he ran - both entered not guilty pleas today at their arraignments. The alleged crimes took place on Sunday, at about 1:45 a.m. at the intersection of Parker and Merrimack Streets in Lawrence.

In Lawrence District Court, cab driver Bienvenido Rodriguez, 42, of 59 Camden St., Methuen, pleaded not guilty to charges of armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and discharging a firearm within 100 yards of a street. Judge Kevin Gaffney ordered him held on $10,000 cash bail and continued the case until February 27 for a probable cause hearing.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Jessica Strasnick represented the Commonwealth. Rodriguez was represented by Attorney Pamela Saia for bail purposes only. He will obtain private counsel.

From his bed at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Herman Irene, 36, of 25 Foster Street, Lawrence, pleaded not guilty to charges of armed robbery, and assault with a dangerous weapon. He was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail. His case was continued until Friday for a status hearing, and for the appointment of counsel. Essex Assistant District Attorney Christopher Holland represented the Commonwealth, and Irene was represented by Defense Attorney Andrew Goldstein.

In addition to his status hearing on Friday, Irene will be arraigned on two open domestic cases. He is charged in one matter with assault with intent to murder, and assault and battery. In the second domestic case, he is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and breaking and entering. Both of those cases involve the same female victim.