NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York City cab driver has a passenger to thank for saving his life following a violent attack.
Etzer Jerome said road rage nearly cost him his life.
The cab driver said he was attacked Wednesday night near 16th Street and Avenue C in Manhattan after an angry driver accused him of cutting him off.
“All I did is a punch in the left side, then when I turn, I get a punch here,” Jerome told CBS 2′s Amy Dardashtian, describing his injuries. “He stabbed me in my right side four to five times and he stabbed me in my shoulder.”
What he told me when he started punching me is “You almost killed my wife” and I said but “I don’t kill your wife, we didn’t have an accident.”
But instead of driving away, Etzer popped his trunk. He knew he had tools for a gardening project, tools he could use to defend himself, including an ax.
“I grabbed the ax. I said ‘Don’t touch me anymore,’” Etzer said.
Jerome said then came the voice of reason — his passenger in the cab.
“The lady said ‘No, no, no, don’t you do any violence,’” Jerome said.
He said she begged for the ax. He said he handed it over, but then his attacker came at him with a knife. Moments later, he said he heard his passenger’s voice.
“The lady, while I’m on the floor, said ‘Don’t worry… I’m here, I’m gonna be with you to the end,’” Jerome said.
Friday at his bed in Bellevue Hospital, Jerome sent a message to drivers everywhere.
“[Don't] get out [of the car] because one of my mistakes, I got out and that made it worse. When you get out, you lose control more,” Jerome said.
He said he hopes to drive his cab again — thanks to the passenger he calls “his angel.”
Police said they are not releasing the passenger’s name because the suspect is still at large.