MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — A man is wanted for attacking an 82-year-old cab driver in New York City during a fight over the fare payment, police said.
The octogenarian cab driver, who wished to remain anonymous, said the unhinged customer dealt him a one-two punch: first hit with hate, then his fists.
“He said c’mon n—— like that. So, I put my two dukes up and that’s when it happened,” the cab driver explained.
After slamming his head on Canal Street, the suspect then viciously kicked the 82-year-old while unconscious, police said.
A crowd quickly rushed to his side before police arrived minutes later.
“I woke up and I was in the hospital,” the cab driver recalled.
That was early in the morning of Nov. 10. Since then, it’s been a week of appointments and a battery of hospital tests.
On Friday, doctors gave him the go-ahead to get back to his grueling 70-hour work week again.
“I gotta pay the rent,” the cab driver said, laughing.
The victim retired from the United States Postal Service and now leases a medallion and has been driving for the past decade. Nothing like this has ever happened to him before.
“Drivers work long hours, it’s so sad. An 82-year-old man who should be enjoying the fruits of his labor … would be subject to a vicious assault,” said Bhairavi Desai, the founder of New York Taxi Workers Association.
The TLC workers union believes the penalties for assaulting drivers aren’t strict enough, explaining they are only enhanced for felony crimes.
The suspect was last spotted on surveillance video casually walking away to Orchard Street.
“I hope they catch him,” the cab driver said, eager to identify him in a lineup.
Detectives say he then had the audacity to get away in another cab.
“Think of how dehumanized that they can be. Beaten to a pulp and then another driver they see as their escape route,” Desai said.