In a disturbing incident in Manhattan, an 82-year-old cab driver was assaulted during a fare dispute, marking a recent escalation in violence against taxi drivers in New York City. The attack occurred in the early hours of November 10 on Canal Street, according to the NYPD.
The elderly driver, a retiree from the United States Postal Service (USPS) who has been driving a rented cab for the last decade, was subjected to a brutal beating involving fists and kicks. The assault rendered him unconscious, a shocking turn of events for someone who had never experienced such violence in his tenure as a cab driver.
Witnesses quickly came to the victim’s assistance before the arrival of the police, as reported by Pix11. The assailant was captured on surveillance footage strolling towards Orchard Street after the attack. The cab driver, who has chosen to remain anonymous, expressed his hope for the assailant’s capture, saying, “Hopefully they’ll catch him.” He is keen to identify the attacker at a police station.
Following the incident, the cab driver, who works a strenuous 70-hour week to pay rent, found himself in the hospital. He recounted waking up there and has since been released. Continuing with hospital appointments and tests, he recently received doctors’ approval to return to work.
Bhairavi Desai, head of the Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA), condemned the attack, highlighting the plight of drivers who work long hours. She noted the tragedy of an 82-year-old man, who should be enjoying retirement, being subjected to such a brutal assault.
The incident has reignited discussions about the safety of cab drivers and the adequacy of penalties for assaults against them. The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) workers’ union argues that penalties are not severe enough, except for serious offenses, which might contribute to a sense of impunity among potential assailants.
No arrests have been made, and the suspect remains unidentified. The NYPD encourages anyone with information to come forward, offering various confidential ways to submit tips.
This attack echoes a similar incident in July, where a 60-year-old cab driver was assaulted by three women and two men in Midtown Manhattan. That victim criticized New York’s system for fostering impunity and urged Mayor Eric Adams to take note of his attack’s video footage, expressing a desire for the Mayor to “die of shame” upon seeing it.