Dege Legg

Life & death on the nightshift

by Dege Legg

Here’s to local law enforcement officials for making three arrests in the Lundi Gras killing of Lafayette cab driver Wallace Badeaux, 35. Two 19-year-old Lafayette residents, Kevin Gildhouse and Aaron Francois, are accused of robbing Badeaux for the paltry sum of $100 and then shooting him once in the head at close range. The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Department also arrested Gildhouse's girlfriend,18-year old Margaret Sanchez, as an accessory after the fact to first degree murder.

Wally Badeaux was a sweet guy — one of those quiet and reserved types who never seemed to get on anyone’s bad side — just a good dude. From 2003 to 2008, I drove for Dixie Cab, working the nightshift from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. I worked with Wally for the last six months I was employed there. Although I experienced many rewarding chapters during my tenure driving a cab, I also experienced almost any and every kind of maddening situation you could imagine, including being robbed at gunpoint for $64 by five guys in 2008 — one who held the gun in my face, another who pulled the keys out of the ignition of the cab so I couldn’t drive off, and three more who just stood around getting dumber by the minute. Luckily, I only lost $64. The point is this: I had my gun sitting in a bag next to me. When these guys ran off, I could’ve easily turned and fired off a few shots at them as they sprinted into the darkness, but I didn’t feel that losing $64 was worth someone’s life even if they had just robbed me. I am pretty sure Wally felt the same way. He was not vengeful person. He was just a regular guy, trying to make the best of a tough job. Like a lot of people.

I’m thankful that I have don’t have to drive a cab anymore. But I am sad for Wally, his family, and the others left behind as well as anyone working the nightshift who has to venture out into the good night, just wondering where it will lead.