Scottsdale cab driver allegedly assaulted by customer dies

A Phoenix cab driver was beaten so badly that he was left unable to speak. He passed away on Monday.

Andrew Carnevale only became a cab driver about a month and a half ago, and was really enjoying his job meeting people and making a steady income.

That all changed on the morning of February 3, 2015, when he got in the middle of a fight between his passenger and her boyfriend.

The fight left him so severely injured that he had to be moved to hospice care.

"He's soft spoken, the type of person that when you first meet him is very quiet and shy... I've never known him to be in a fight for as long as I've known him, he's just a very sweet and gentile person," said Jeffrey Herman, the victim's friend.

Herman describes Carnevale, his 39-year-old friend who was severely beaten when he intervened in a fight between a woman and her boyfriend.

He dropped her off at a Scottsdale apartment complex at around 1 a.m. That is when the suspect, 36-year-old DB Starnes III, reportedly came outside and started a fight with his girlfriend. Carnevale intervened and police say Starnes attacked him.

Herman tells FOX 10 Carnevale was pronounced dead early Monday evening.

Scottsdale detectives are working with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to decide charges in connection the Carnevale's death.

Herman is a valley attorney and has no doubt Carnevale was only trying to protect the woman who just happened to take a ride that night in his cab.

"He did something that many people would be quite uncomfortable and scared to do, and that is he interjected, and unfortunately he paid a really steep price," he said.

The suspect told police he was defending himself, saying Carnevale went after him, but police say that story doesn't add up since Starnes' only injury was a small scrape to the knee.

If you would like to help with Carnevale's medical bills you can donate here:

"On behalf of Andrew's family and friends, thank you so much for your selfless donation. Whether it was $5 or $100, every penny counts and will all go toward Andrew's family and Andrew's legacy," said Herman.

Herman released this statement:

"I am deeply saddened by this unexpected tragedy and feel a profound sense of injustice over his untimely death. I take solace knowing he died peacefully in hospice care, and a suspect has been arrested and indicted. Andrew died a true hero..."

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