Taxi driver accused of stabbing 'fare-beater,' claims self-defense
A livery taxi driver is facing criminal charges in the stabbing of a man he claims is a "fare-beater."
Sandy de Jesus Rodriguez surrendered to police Monday morning and claims the incident caught on video was self-defense. He was hustled into the 46th Precinct by the New York State Federation Of Taxi Drivers.
Fernando Mateo, the head of the federation, says just last month a woman stole $190 out of the driver's cab. Mateo says when he pursued her into a Webster Avenue building, he ran into another alleged fare beater.
"We believe the two people that need to be arrested are the ones that robbed him and fare-beated him numerous times," said Mateo. De Jesus Rodriguez's lawyer would not talk about the case.
De Jesus Rodriguez is now being charged with criminal possession of a weapon, assault and menacing. Mateo says de Jesus Rodriguez is a man with a wife and two kids and has no criminal record.
"We know that the videotape does not look good for him. We understand he has an object in his hand and is waving it -- but at no moment did he stab the person who robbed him," said Mateo.
Mateo is now demanding the victim's medical records to prove his innocence. The New York State Federation Of Taxi Drivers say this story is why they are pushing for new legislation mandating that livery drivers are paid before they even begin their trip.
Mateo says de Jesus Rodriguez didn't report the alleged theft because filing a police report takes time away from work. He says his main concern is losing his license.
"If he loses his privilege to drive, what does he do with the car and how does he support his family?" said Mateo.