NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City cab drivers are being warned that they could be easy targets over the holidays.

Fernando Mateo, of the Federation of Taxi Drivers, is advising cabbies to take steps to protect themselves.

“There’s a lot of desperate people, and there are people that are going to go out there looking for easy money,” Mateo said. “Cab drivers are easy money. We need for NYPD to be very vigilant during the holidays and make sure that they protect the lives of the drivers.”

The warning comes as  livery cab driver Suzzath Ali, 51, announced he was quitting his job after 12 years saying he fears for his safety.

Ali was beaten and carjacked at gunpoint Saturday morning around 2:30 a.m. outside Whitestone Cinemas in the Bronx after picking up an illegal street hail. He received 50 stitches across his face, skull and hand.

Ali, a father of three, said he would never again risk his life and leave behind his wife and kids.

“I thought it was my last day alive when a gun was placed on my head,” said Ali.

Police are looking for two men and a woman in the attack.The three suspects were seen on surveillance video at Whitestone Cinemas.

Police said the suspects ditched the cab, which was later found on 222nd Street and Wickham Avenue.

Mateo said Ali’s story shows the need for the city to do more to protect cabbies.

“We’re very concerned because the mayor has a plan to legalize street hails in the outer boroughs thinking that it’s basically the same as doing street hails in  Manhattan,” Mateo told 1010 WINS. “It’s not the same; there’s a lot of danger in the outer boroughs.”

Anyone with information should call police or Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS or visit

Comments (17)
  1. Liberal don't believe in law and order says:

    In America (New Africa) the KNEE GROW runs the show. Look at all the ghetto blacks, latinos, asians, white boys who dress like KNEE GROWS. The down fall of civilization.

  2. Kim Baliey says:

    “Blacks are talking apes, not Human at all…..wild african predators”
    As You can see these animal can not be civilized because they are feral animals.

    Keep White babies away from Knee grows—See Youtube Black Panthers.

  3. Good Ghetto is a dead Ghetto says:

    Good Ghetto is a dead Ghetto. Hitler killed the wrong people.

  4. Knee Grow says:

    This is why latinas should stop sleeping with the Knee Grows. Your messing up the race more than it is

  5. Knee Grow says:

    Want to stop the illegal guns in New York. Give back guns rights in New York. Then the criminals won’t be the only ones armed. Cops won’t protect you. Bloomberg got rid of 7000

  6. Very conservative says:

    Many of these livery cabs could use a beating anyway with the way they drive.

    Oh, and to Devenio: liberalism is a mental disorder. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Very conservative says:

      Oh, excuse me.

      Correction: livery scabbies.

      Just woke up. Still half asleep.

  7. Devenio says:

    Now to the matter at hand… When are you dumb criminals gonna realize that there are cameras every place? We need a better class of thugs in NYC. You clowns are putting the criminal Mastermind tag to shame.

    1. Knee Grow says:

      That’s why they are called dumb KNEE Grows.

  8. Ellen says:

    Don’t blame the guy for quitting his job, and wouldn’t blame anyone carrying pepper spray to protect themselves.

    1. bill burns says:

      How about carrying an RPG launcher instead, you supid Mayor Bloomie loving asshole.

  9. CSI says:

    Stupid loosers.

  10. Peter says:

    deSPICable !!!!

    1. Devenio says:

      Hey Peter! Very clever. Now lay down and die you worthless racist P.O.S.

      1. Peter says:

        thank you may you choke on a wishbone!!!

        1. Devenio says:

          What? You don’t listen very well you racist POS! You should be dead! Die already! The world is better without you!

          1. Peter says:

            thank you MF!!!

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