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Exclusive: Cabbie kidnapped

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Misty Smead, cabbie choked by passenger who claimed he wanted to blow up Kent State Misty Smead, cabbie choked by passenger who claimed he wanted to blow up Kent State

A Colorado man took a local cab driver hostage, choked her and claimed he wanted to bomb a college campus. 

That cab driver, Misty Smead, is the one who picked up Louis Koleszar at the Akron Canton Airport. Smead says Koleszar told her he wanted to go to Kent State University.  

"He was babbling on and on about 9/11 and blowing up different things," said Smead.  "Very erratic.  Very nervous.  Agitated."

Smead recorded the whole ride on her phone. 

"Thank God those Trade Towers went down," Koleszar said on the recording.  "We should get the UN Building next."

Using a code word, Smead alerted her dispatcher that she was in trouble and the police were called.

"I tried to stay calm," Smead said.  "I really wasn't scared.  It was kind of odd.  It was a peaceful feeling.  I wasn't scared at all."

As police began racing to meet her, Smead told the man in her cab they were going to exit the highway.

"That is when he grabbed me around my neck," Smead explained.  "He was in the back seat."

Smead said she managed to calm her passenger down by offering to stop for a cigarette and coffee.  Police met her and arrested Koleszar just off I-76 at the State Route 44 exit.

"It just all turned out well," said dispatcher Jimmy Williams.  "Once in awhile, thank God, once in awhile things happen correctly."

"I just felt everything was going to be O.K. and I just killed him with kindness," Smead said. 

Smead went right back to work after the incident and says she plans to keep driving her cab.

Koleszar is being held at the Portage County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

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