NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man has been arrested in connection with the gruesome murder of a livery cab driver in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn resident Shamel Allen, 28, was charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon in the death of Uro Ama Orji.
Orji, 54, was stabbed in the eye with an umbrella in Brownsville on Thursday, police said.
“There should be very little if any consideration for this man. He doesn’t deserve to be even given bail. This man deserves to go to jail and never come out again. What he did was barbaric, something unseen before, and what could he take from a cab driver? All he could take is $50 to $100,” New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers president Fernando Mateo told WCBS 880 on Tuesday. “He deserves to go to jail for life. He took away a man that was 54 years old, father of five children, immigrant that came here just to work, hustle to support his family. This was a brutal crime, a gruesome crime.”
After Orji was wounded, detectives said the cab jumped a curb and crashed into two parked sport-utility vehicles at Lott Avenue and Boyland Street at about 5:30 p.m.
Orji, a Nigerian immigrant living in Queens, was taken to Brookdale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Before Allen’s arrest, video showed a man getting out of the cab, opening the front door of the vehicle and stabbing Orji with an umbrella, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
“It’s clearly on that video. You have a female and male, and the male runs — the young lady walking away, perhaps guilt got the best of her,” community advisor Tony Herbert told CBS 2’s John Slattery.
A $12,000 reward had been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
“This is a total outrage. This is just a guy just trying to make a buck to probably feed himself and his family, only to have his life taken for less than $10 or maybe $20, which is close to the average fare one would pay for a local ride inside Brooklyn,” Herbert said.
“It’s a very dangerous job, a very dangerous business,” said Mateo.
Orji was the father of five children and had come from Nigeria 10 years ago to start a better life for his family. His children, who range in age from 13 to 22, arrived from Nigeria in December.
His sister-in-law, Chinedum Agwu, said he was a good father who was just trying to make ends meet.
“He was a very dedicated, loving father,” she said. “An innocent man who was just working hard to make sure his kids eat. Everything he wanted to do was take care of his children. It’s horrible. How do you do something like that? How do you wake up and have in your mind to go out and hurt somebody?”
When asked about the dangers of the job, Chinedum Agwu told Slattery, “He always wanted to stop doing it and do something else.”
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