Charges: Taxi passenger robs gas station while driver in restroom

TACOMA, Wash. -- A 24-year-old passenger attempted to rob a Tacoma gas station while his cab driver was using the restroom, according to charges filed in Pierce County Superior Court.

According to the charging documents, the cab pulled into a Chevron Station at 104th Street East and Portland Avenue East in the middle of the night Sunday so the driver could use the restroom.

While the driver was doing so, the cab's passenger, Karl Elliker, walked up to the gas station clerk and said he was sorry but he had to rob the place, according to the charges.

Elliker reportedly claimed to have a bomb and demanded all the 20s from the register. The clerk said he had just done a cash drop and didn't have any 20s.

According to the charging documents, Elliker told the clerk he was desperate for money because he had just gotten out of the military and had nothing. The clerk suggested he seek help from the VA.

After the failed robbery, Elliker got back in the cab, and the taxi drove off.

Pierce County Sheriff's Office deputies stopped the cab and arrested Elliker, who admitted he didn't really have a bomb.

According to the charging documents, Elliker said he was depressed because his prior criminal history kept him from realizing his dream of joining the military.

The Sheriff's Office was unable to find any previous convictions for Elliker, but it's possible they were juvenile crimes committed in another state.

Elliker has been charged with attempted robbery.