By Cheryl McNeil
(TORONTO, ON) – Around 12:45 pm Wednesday, a Toronto cab driver picked up a fare from the Gerrard Square Walmart. His passenger turned out to be Dailenys Alantara Pacheco, one of the Cuban athletes competing at the Pan Am Games.
After loading up her purchases, the cab started heading towards Athletes Village. Upon their arrival, Pacheco paid her fare, gathered up her belongings and went on her way. Not longer after, she realized that she had left her wallet in the cab.
Inside the wallet was all of her identification and a significant sum of cash.
Visibly upset by her situation, Pacheco approached a nearby Toronto police officer. Through the assistance of an interpreter, the officer was able to determine that the only description they had to go on was a “silver taxi”.
Only a few minutes later, that very same cab returned to the village and handed over the wallet containing all of Pacheco’s identification and cash. The cab driver identified himself as John Strickland.
Strickland is an independent cab driver who has been driving a cab in Toronto for over 35 years. If not for his actions, the possibility of identifying the cab and recovering Pacheco’s wallet would have been very unlikely.
“Mr Strickland deserves a gold medal for his honesty,” said D/Sgt Ian McArthur. “He is a true ambassador of our city.”