NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A livery cab driver previously busted for illegal hails at the airport didn’t get very far as he tried to evade authorities Tuesday night, thanks to a quick-thinking teen.
Driver Bhupinder Singh, 37, was arrested on charges including reckless endangerment and resisting arrest after speeding off with a family of tourists at John F. Kennedy Airport.
It was a New York City taxi lesson learned the hard way for 17-year-old Aldo Sosa and his family from Panama. Sosa, his parents and 12-year-old brother had just landed at JFK for a city vacation. That is when police say a hustler cabbie took them for a frightening ride.
“He tell us that he was a cab and he was going to drive us here. So…why not, you know?” Sosa told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
As the family was getting into the livery cab, two Port Authority Police officers spotted Singh, whom they recognized from his five previous times being busted for illegal hails at JFK.
“We followed him. He loaded them into his vehicle and attempted to exit the parking lot, where we positioned our vehicle in front of his, approached his vehicle, asked him to come outside, he didn’t,” said Port Authority officer Dante Castro-Recio.
Sosa thought they were being kidnapped.
“They told him get out of the car. He said ‘no no’ and they were hitting the window, so that’s when I thought ‘Jesus, this is going to be bad,'” Sosa said.
As Singh floored it onto the Van Wyck Expressway, Sosa grabbed the steering wheel and crashed the car into a guard rail.
“When the cops drove by, he lock us so we couldn’t get away. And that’s why we decided to take the car,” Sosa said. “Reflex kick in and we just took the wheel and took the car to the side.”
Police quickly nabbed Singh as he tried to run.
“The hustler jumped out of the car and attempted to flee on foot. Two officers, exited the unmarked vehicle, chased him down and tackled him on the exit ramp heading onto the Van Wyck Expressway,” Port Authority Spokesman Al Della Fave told 1010 WINS.
The Sosas walked away with only a few cuts and bruises. They said they owe that to Aldo’s bravery.
Tomas Sosa, the teen’s father, said he is “very proud” of his boy and his younger brother described his sibling as his “hero.”
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