Jersey City cab driver acquitted of charges he held senior citizen hostage in taxi
A Jersey City cab driver was found not guilty today of allegations he locked a 77-year-old passenger in his cab after refusing to accept the man’s senior discount fare. During the trial Abdalziz testified he drove Harkins to Kennedy Boulevard and Fairmont Avenue on April 9 and upon arrival Harkins showed him a senior citizen card and in keeping with city policy, offered Abdalziz half the $4.50 fare. The driver said he demanded identification and when Harkins said he had none on him, he refused to accept the discounted fare. Abdalziz said Harkins told him he’d had the same problem with a cab driver previously and said he was calling police. Instead, the cabbie told Harkins to stay in the car and he called police himself.
Abdalziz testified, and the judge agreed, that Harkins was free to leave the cab at any time. Abad said Harkins said he wanted to wait for police anyway. The arriving officers filed no charges against driver or passenger and Abdalziz accepted Harkins’ $2.25 fare, which was handed to him by the officers. After today’s verdict, Harkins said he was shocked Abad ignored his testimony stating the Abdalziz had locked him in the cab and repeatedly refused to let him out.
Abdalziz was represented by Jersey City Attorney Patrick G Patel.
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