They Wanted To Go To Brooklyn, But Got Something Else Instead

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — To the two passengers, it seemed like the taxi ride from hell – when all they wanted was to go to Brooklyn.

It was Sunday afternoon in Midtown when two 31-year-old women say they got into a taxi and told the driver to take them to Bedford-Stuyvesant. According to the passengers, that’s when the driver went berserk, screaming at them and driving erratically.

One of the passengers reportedly whipped out her cell phone and videotaped the driver lunging at them.

One woman is heard screaming “Don’t touch us! You have to go to Brooklyn!”

Eventually, the cab driver found another cab to take them to Brooklyn.

“Well sir, we are definitely going to report this!” one woman is heard screaming.

Other taxi riders who saw the video on Tuesday were shocked.

“I think it’s outrageous that the taxi driver acted that way. I’ve actually had similar experience,” said Chris Rooney of Staten Island.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky agreed with those sentiments, telling 1010 WINS the driver’s behavior was “totally unacceptable, totally out of line and just beyond the pale.”

“The rules are that taxi passengers are entitled to go to any destination in all five boroughs,” Yassky said. “If you have the taxi driver license, it’s one of the conditions of having that license and we mean to enforce compliance.”

Yassky admitted that he could understand why drivers “want to spend their entire shift cruising in Manhattan” because of the high demand.  However, he said that taxis unwilling to take passengers to the outer boroughs was a “continuing problem.”

“Certainly a taxi driver is not licensed to lunge,” added Marian Mishkin of the Upper East Side.

The video even shocked some fellow taxi drivers. Two cabbies Hickey spoke with said they would never act like that.

“No, no, not me. [I always go] everywhere in Brooklyn,” Yves Bazile said.

“I’ve been driving since 1986. I don’t think i would ever do anything like that,” added Marcel Gelin.

Just last week, the TLC asked the City Council to stiffen fines against drivers who refuse to take passengers to the outer boroughs. Right now, it takes a third offense within three years for a driver to lose his hack license.

The TLC identified the driver as Paul Efobi, but the Queens company the TLC said he drives for said they do not know of this driver or the incident.

Ever experience anything like this? Please tell us about it in the comments section below.

Comments (30)
  1. MCK says:

    I say fire this guy and let him go back to the 7-Eleven he was working in!

  2. Dogmeat says:

    all the times that people ran away without paying the fare happened in Brooklyn. The police don’t care about the drivers. The TLC doesn’t care for the drivers safety or economic well being. So glad I stopped driving yellow, abusive passengers, low pay, and a Mayor who hates unions.

    1. sally rogers says:

      Unbelieveable. These two are laughing and joking and think its okay to report him????????? Its like a joke to them. Really?? With all the people who jump and run out of the cabs in Brooklyn and get drivers stuck in traffic with no fare coming back into the city; its no wonder drivers don’t want to go to certain areas. If you live in Brooklyn you deserve to take the train and if you live in god forsaken Staten Island, take the ferry. Leave the yellows to the airports and Manhattan,Queens and Bronx.

  3. Roy says:

    are you sure he was driving erratically,most cab drivers just look like they are driving erratically,when in fact they are just bad,aggresive,uncaring,low life drivers

  4. WHite girls are just no damned good. says:

    I’m a honkie and I wouldn’t have picked up those two hyenas!

  5. nyc says:

    Did you hear these girls horrible laughter thru this entire video ? They thought it was really funny ! I don’t blame this poor driver to get them another taxi. I would have just thrown them out ! Bring back owner/driver only taxi’s – end of all the problems !

  6. Paul says:

    This happens to me every weekend especially if the weather is bad. Its so frustrating. How can I report cabbies that deny me?? Thanks!

    1. badman says:

      carry a gun and brandish it at all cabbies. they do whatever you tell them!

  7. Del La Ma says:

    The bottom line is the cabbie broke the TLC law. He has the right to quit the job not to go crazy on the passengers and drive erratically causing safety hazards on the road. The fare from Midtown to Brooklyn more than offset the $2 worth of gas (about 8 – 10 miles)he drives back from Bklyn to Manhattan with no passenger. Even when he circles around in Manhattan he could have no passengers anyway. NO EXCUSE. Fine this cabbie and revoke his license due to unprofessional behavior, I side with the passengers. Cabbies get paid and is expected to provide the necessary service. It’s not the customer’s problem if you don’t make enough money.

  8. Frank Rizzo says:

    Yes, this totally violates the Privacy Act.

  9. Ross says:

    I’m a new yorker and I know how long its take to go to bklyn and come back with no fair.gasoline is over $4 per gallon. The mayor Should raise up cabs fair so that they can cover it like bed-styyv,who would like to get there at noon and then come to city with the time about to change your shift..this job is very hard and stressful.I spoke to few cabbies and its almost like this math: they hav to make first $200 for lease and gas. Which take almost takes almost 11 to 12at noon.and after that its your money until 3 to 4pm you drive. So if a driver gets a fair to bed- stayy But still everyday’s commute we do get better service from them.. This kind of incident could happen once in a thousands fair a day.let’s not blame them all.

    1. X-taxi driver says:

      The first $200 is only part of the daily expense, taxi driver is charge 5% from all credit or debit card user, this is include tip, tolls, surcharge if passenger put it on credit card. tipping to the mechanic in the garage if they want the car to be fix quickly, $50-$100 per week to the dispatcher if they want a hard time from them, Hotel doorman demand $5 tip from driver in exchange a fare to JFK or newark., $25 late charge if the driver return car to garage more than 1/2 hour late.,black car picking up passenger illegally to compete yellow cab. everyone is taking advantage to the poor taxi driver,so don’t blame the driver not taking you at peak hour.try to see all these costs the taxi driver have to meet . taxi driver also need to bring food to the table

      1. jtorres says:

        Yes, it’s hard to make ends meet as a cabbie. But does that give the driver the right to go beserk and lunge at 2 passengers? I don’t think so. I also don’t think it had anything to do with Brooklyn. He does not sound stable

      2. x-taxi driver says:

        yes, I agreed that the driver should not loose his cool on the passenger.

    2. Govinder Singh says:

      That is very thoughtful comment.

  10. truth says:

    If they were black, the cab drivers wouldn’t even pick them up.

    1. Officer says:

      haha…but TRUE

  11. Dil 9 NYC says:

    Bloomberg said “New York City has the highest quality taxi service in the world”. From today.

    I guess NYC = World in Bloomberg’s mind. I wish this cab driver and many others quite their job to reduce their frustration if they don’t want to obey the TLC rules.

    1. x-taxi driver says:

      Have you ever diven a yellow cab in nyc before?

  12. MRS I. UNDERSTAND says:

    What ever happened to exercising common sense ? If these young ladies realized that this driver not only refused to take them to Bklyn but was obviously unstable, why NOT JUST GET OUT HIS CAR AND HAIL ANOTHER TAXI ??
    They put themselves in danger, this is NYC, taxi drivers obviously don’t want to travel to certain parts for their own safety/fear. I think they have that choice.

    1. Michael H. says:

      The cabbies DON’T have that choice, actually. By law, a NYC yellow cab driver must take you anywhere within the 5 boroughs. It’s that simple. If these cabbies don’t want to do their job they should find other work.

    2. pirand21 says:

      Wrong wrong wrong! Absolutely wrong! They don’t have a choice. You want to drive a taxi? You have an obligation to take fares to all five boroughs.

    3. MRS. I. UNDERSTAND says:

      Taxis are like voices, they come a dime a dozen. In this day and age crime is at an all time high.
      If I were a taxi driver I would use my own discretion when it comes to who I pick up and the location I choose to venture into. It no different from your door bell ringing and you choose to open on demand or decide who to let in and not let in.
      For my’s up to me to speak now and not Fernando Mateo telling the public that I was a “ggod person” who unfortunately was robbed and shot in the head. Safety before Sorry.
      I’m in control…It’s what you say and how you say

      1. jtorres says:

        “If I were a taxi driver” You can make those kind of comments because you’re not and you wouldn’t mind losing your license if you were. The laws are in place for a reason– to protect the passengers. And the cameras are in place to protect the drivers. And it is very different from your doorbell ringing. Your home is private property and not there to serve the public.
        Yes,it’s a dangerous job but you knew the risks when you took it. Unfortunately, that’s the realilty

  13. Bell Toller says:

    Passengers have no right to video drivers. This violates the privacy act.

    1. truth says:

      It’s out in public… no privacy act. Bloomy can nailed them for filming without a permit though

    2. Michael H. says:

      Um…no that’s not how it works.

  14. Disappointed says:

    Awesome. Gracias, Mandy.

  15. Disappointed says:

    No video?

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