NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A hustler livery cabbie will be sentenced to 6 months in prison after taking a family of four on a wild ride from John F. Kennedy Airport last February, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Tuesday.
Bhupinder Singh, a 38-year-old from Ridgewood, Queens pleaded guilty to first-degree unlawful imprisonment before Queens Criminal Court. He will also be sentenced to five years probation on June 4.
Singh picked up the family of tourists and as they were getting into the cab, two Port Authority Police officers spotted Singh, whom they recognized from his five previous times being busted for illegal hails at JFK.
As the officers stepped out of their vehicle and identified themselves as police, Singh locked the doors of the livery cab and drove around the officer at a high rate of speed, Brown announced.
As officers pursued Singh, one of the tourists — a 17-year-old boy — grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it to the right, causing the car to crash into a guardrail, Brown said.
Singh tried to run away on foot, but was caught shortly thereafter.
Two of the tourists — the boy’s parents — were treated for minor injuries.
Brown stressed that the arrest and sentencing demonstrated the need to “provide a safe and welcoming environment at our airports” for the many tourists visiting New York City.
“As this case clearly illustrates, unregulated taxis and unscrupulous drivers – who are not properly licensed and who do not carry appropriate insurance – put passengers at serious risk,” Brown said.
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