March 30, 1998 in Nation/World

Man’s Fatal Beating Watched, Not Reported

Compiled From Wire Services

People watched from the safety of their high-rise apartments before dawn Sunday as four men beat a taxi driver to death and dumped his body in the trunk of the cab, investigators said.

“Eye witnesses saw him being beaten and dragged by his feet and thrown in the trunk, but no one called 911,” said Detective Virginia Lopez. “It’s disgusting.”

The apartment manager said the unidentified victim may have been killed over a parking space.

The driver, Mostapha Maarouf, 27, was working in Denver to send money back to his family in Youssofia, Morocco, where he planned to return in July to get married, his friends said.

Police were summoned to the area when the victim’s friend called police from a nearby convenience store and said the two were being robbed and beaten by four men. Officers then searched near the apartments for the driver while neighbors watched from their windows, Lopez said.

“They didn’t tell police the body was in the trunk,” Lopez said.

Only when police went door-to-door did residents start talking - nearly an hour later, Lopez said. The man might have lived if police had found him earlier, she said.

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