NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman was seen on video being physically thrown from a cab when she was eight months pregnant.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, the woman claimed the driver’s violent act caused her to deliver her baby five weeks early, and the cabbie remained behind the wheel as of Monday night.
Leslie Cooper said it was a bitter cold night recently when she just wanted to get into a cab and go home to Brooklyn.
She said her cab driver told her his credit card reader was broken. She offered to stop for cash at an ATM in Brooklyn, but she said instead, he told her to get out.
She refused, and said the confrontation then got physical.
Cooper was already inside the yellow cab near 57th Street and Madison Avenue. In a surveillance video, the cab pulls up to the curb and the driver gets out, and minutes later, he walks to the back passenger door and appears to physically pull Cooper from the car.
She is pushed to the ground, and the driver takes off.
“I was just in shock — complete shock,” Cooper said. “I was really worried about my baby.”
At more than eight months pregnant, Cooper said she went to the hospital to be checked out. She was cleared to go home, but a few days later, she went into early labor.
“It’s a little heartbreaking,” Cooper said. “But this is life, and I’m just trying to deal with it.”
Cooper said she immediately filed a police report at the scene, but was told without visible physical injuries such as a bruise or a broken bone, no assault charges would be filed.
She said she told police about the surveillance video, but, “They said it wouldn’t help their case, because again, I wasn’t physically, visibly injured.”
The NYPD has since closed the case.
Meanwhile, Cooper’s story has now reached the website “The Lil Mamas,” a support site for mothers. The outrage on social media from the community of moms has stretched far and wide.
“I’m horrified. We’re all horrified,” said Celia Behar, the co-creator of the site. “I think about myself in that position, and it makes me so scared for other pregnant women that they’re that vulnerable, and nobody is looking out for them.”
At this point, Cooper said she feels helpless, and worries that the same driver will hurt someone else.
“For something like this to happen to a pregnant woman is just atrocious, and there should be better laws in place to prevent this kind of thing from happening,” Cooper said.
Cooper said the cab driver also removed his identification card before pulling her out the back seat. She was able to get the medallion number, and has reported the incident to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
The TLC confirmed it is investigating the complaint.