NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A wounded man is speaking out as New York City sees an increase in the number of attacks on cabbies.
Now, there’s hope for a change that could curb the troubling trend.
Cab driver Raymond Adjetey’s head is still bandaged and his wound is still bleeding after a terrifying and brutal attack left the 24-year-old with a deep and permanent scar.
“I’m still in pain, the blood keeps coming out. This part of my face keeps getting numb,” he said.
The nightmare pickup began on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx on August 5th.
Adjetey said the suspect changed his drop-off location twice, and when he asked the man to leave, he smashed his phone so hard into Adjetey’s head it shattered the screen.
Intimidated, Adjetey says he drove the suspect to a third location, in front of Tracey Towers, and then threatened to call 911.
“He said that if he goes to jail, he will do seven years in jail, so he’d rather cut me in my face so that at least if he’s in jail, I too have a mark on my face. And the moment he said that, he just smashed me,” Adjetey said.
The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers says violence against drivers is on the rise. Between July 28th and August 5th, seven cab drivers were robbed at gunpoint in seven days. Advocates are demanding the NYPD warn cabbies about potential attacks by releasing photos of wanted suspects.
“The driver will receive… sort of like an AMBER Alert on his phone with the image of the person who just committed the crime, so that person doesn’t commit it over and over, and the driver doesn’t know what’s going on,” said Fernando Mateo of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.
Adjetey says without change, the job is too dangerous for him to return to. For the last three years, he’s been moonlighting as a driver at night to help pay his medical school tuition to become a physician’s assistant.
“It’s very difficult, because I stay with my mom and my other two siblings, and they all depend on my income, and I have all these student loans piling up,” he said.
And now, the added cost of many reconstructive surgeries to try and heal the physical wounds left behind by the attack.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.