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Second suspect arrested in murder of cab driver's son | News

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Second suspect arrested in murder of cab driver's son
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MARIETTA, Ga. -- The second person of interest in the robbery and murder of a cab driver's son has been taken into custody in Buffalo, N.Y.

James Black, 19, who has the words "New" and "York" tattooed on his hands, was wanted for questioning in the death of Tomas Arriola Jr. He was arrested Saturday and is awaiting extradition to Marietta.

Black was charged with homicide, armed robbery and firearm possession.

The first suspect, Abdul Griffin, was arrested Mar. 2 in Powder Springs by the Cobb County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Unit and the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. Griffin is being held without bond in the Cobb County Jail on charges of felony murder, armed robbery and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. It wasn't the suspect's first run-in with the law in Cobb County; in 2012, he was arrested for robbing a Pizza Hut near Marietta.

Griffin and Black are charged with killing Arriola, 22, who was riding in his father's taxi when he was gunned down. Arriola's cousin, Mimi Franco, said Tomas is mentally challenged.

"He has the mind of a 10-year-old," she said.

Franco is having a hard time trying to figure out why someone would shoot and kill her cousin.

"He doesn't have any evil in him," she said. "He was always smiling, being friendly with everybody, trying to help everybody."



Franco said her cousin rode with his father, Tomas Arriola, Sr., many times. Marietta Police said the Arriolas picked up a fare in the St. Augustine Condominiums Feb. 18 at about 1:45 p.m. Two men got into the cab and pulled a gun on the victims.

"During the robbery, one of the suspects shot Arriola (Jr.) and both suspects fled on foot with money," a press release said.

Franco said the suspects punched her uncle in the face as they were getting out of the cab and then shot her cousin.

"His dad says that they did what they asked for the money and when they were leaving that's when they shot him," she said.

Police said Arriola Sr. drove to a nearby QT and radioed for help. Fellow cabbie Claudio Valdez heard that call.

"All I heard was something like 'call the police' you know, something's happening," he said.

Arriola Sr. and Valdez work for Acuario Taxi in Marietta. The day after the shooting, other drivers were second-guessing their careers.

"My wife gets scared when I come out to work," Renaldo Reyes said. "But we have to make a living."

Franco said her uncle worked hard for a living to take care of his children and didn't deserve what happened to his son.

"They got what they wanted, they got the money," she said. "They should have just left."

The family has set up a fund to help pay for funeral costs. Donations can be made at any Chase Bank in the name of "Tomas Arriola."

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