Eau Claire man accused of skipping out on $400 cab fare

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- An Eau Claire man is accused of hiring a taxi driver to take him from Stevens Point to Eau Claire, and skipping out on paying.

James Rogers faces charges of felony bail jumping and fraud on a taxicab.

The complaint says the driver picked up Rogers around 3 a.m. on January 16. The driver says Rogers told her his girlfriend had just had a baby and he needed to get to Eau Claire. She says Rogers agreed to pay the $400 fee, along with a $40 tip.

The company has a policy to secure bigger fares with credit cards prior to making the trip. The driver says his card was declined, but she believed his story so she decided to go through with it.

Once they got to Eau Claire, the driver says Rogers got out of the car and told her he would be right back, but disappeared into the backyard of a home. When he didn't return after 20 minutes, she called police.

Officers were able to find Rogers hours later. He admitted he was released from the Wood County jail on a warrant, and had no way to get back to Eau Claire so he came up with the idea.