MARINE PARK, Brooklyn (PIX11) — A good Samaritan needed a trip to the hospital Wednesday after he jumped in to help a 78-year-old woman, but the injury didn’t bother him: assisting the woman as she was attacked in Brooklyn was more important.
When Ezra Halawani saw a taxi driver pulling a woman out of an Access-A-Ride near East 35th Street and Flatlands Avenue, he pulled out his cellphone and started filming. The video shows the driver pulling the woman by her leg.
Halawani lost his own grandmother a few months ago, so the sight broke his heart, he said. What the driver did brought tears to his eyes.
So when the woman shouted that the driver had her phone, Halawani stepped in. He demanded the phone back. The driver handed it over, then got back into the taxi.
“He pulled her out of the car, and he took her cellphone,” Halawani said. “So he was ready to leave her on the ground without a way to call anyone, which is very, very disturbing.”
Halawani stepped in front of the car to try and stop the driver with no success. The driver hit the gas, striking the good Samaritan.
“When he hit me, I fell on top of his hood and fell on the floor on my shoulder,” Halawani said.
He wasn’t the only one who needed a trip to the hospital. The 78-year-old woman, who’d called the Acces-A-Ride to go to physical therapy, also needed to go to the hospital. Her son said she is still scared and shaken up by the event.
Police are investigating elder abuse. They are looking for the driver. A Taxi and Limousine Commissioner spokesperson said the agency is working with police on the investigation.
The NYS Federation of Taxi Drivers was horrified by the video of the incident. Spokesperson Fernando Mateo said there was nothing that could justify the driver’s actions.
“The video is brutal and shows no compassion or respect for the elderly,” Mateo said.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).