A cab driver was suspended by a judge and fined a $1000 for bad behavior after taking a passenger from the Upper West Side to Grand Street on ride fueled by a “fit of rage.”
Passenger Joseph Raccuia, 56, says the cabbie, Wael Gamal-Eldin, didn’t want to go downtown because he was at the end of his shift. Gamal-Eldin says that while he was looking forward to a date that evening, Raccuia was actually being abusive saying, “Every cabbie has an opinion about something now, and you guys should be grateful that we offer you a job in this country.” The driver maintains he was cool about it.
According to the New York Post:
Raccuia said that in a fit of rage, the cabbie told him he was “not going to get home alive today.” The cabbie then gunned the engine, came close to hitting two pedestrians crossing the street and smashed into a parked car on 33rd St., Raccuia said.
At the hearing, Gamal-Eldin denied making any threats or cursing.
He said he hit the accelerator after a woman walking a dog suddenly bolted into the street. When he hit the brakes, his cab fishtailed in the snow, “freaking out” Raccuia, the cabbie said.
The judge ruled that both men seemed to be exaggerating parts of their testimony and he found it hard to believe the driver was passive when being verbally assaulted by racist comments. He also acknowledged that the minor damage to the cab could have just been a result of the snowy conditions.
Splitting the difference, the judge fined and suspended the driver instead of yanking his license altogether. A bitter Racciua said that “justice was not served.”
(Photo: James Nord)