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Gainesville man sentenced to time served after punching cab driver over $7 fare
Guillermo Carmelo-Alonzo
Guillermo Carmelo-Alonzo

A Gainesville man was sentenced to time served and $15,000 in restitution after punching a cab driver in a dispute over a $7 cab fare, according to authorities and court documents.

Guillermo Carmelo-Alonzo, 24, pleaded guilty Thursday, April 6, to aggravated battery and theft of service. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Jason Deal to 10 years with the first year in prison, though the custodial time was deemed served. The remainder of the sentence may be served on probation.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office said Carmelo-Alonzo hailed a taxi with his brother April 4, 2022 at Airport Drive to go to Centennial Drive

Once they were at their destination, Carmelo-Alonzo refused to pay the $7 fare and punched the driver in the mouth, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

According to the warrants, the punch knocked a cap off one tooth and broke another tooth off at the driver’s gum line.

In addition to the sentence, Carmelo-Alonzo was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation program run by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

Prosecutors said at a previous hearing that the amount cited was for medical expenses.

Defense attorney Jake Shapiro declined to comment.

Guillermo’s brother, Juan Carmelo-Alonzo, was charged with misdemeanor party to a crime and theft of services. The warrants stated Juan did not try to stop his brother but “joined in on the assault.”

The Times asked Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh what the status was of Juan Carmelo-Alonzo’s charges, but no information was received as of press time.

Juan Carmelo-Alonzo
Juan Carmelo-Alonzo