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Cabbie Whips Passenger With Belt When She Says She Can't Pay, Police Say

By Gwynne Hogan | August 31, 2016 1:37pm
 The industrial street where a taxi driver attacked a 21-year-old woman, according to police.
The industrial street where a taxi driver attacked a 21-year-old woman, according to police.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

EAST WILLIAMSBURG — A cab driver whipped a passenger with a belt on a desolate industrial street when the woman tried to leave the taxi without paying for a ride from Manhattan, according to police.

The 21-year-old victim hailed a taxi in Midtown on Park Avenue and rode all the way to Johnson Avenue in East Williamsburg, according to police.

Nearing her destination at the intersection of Johnson Avenue and White Street, an industrial block at around 1:20 a.m. on Aug. 23, the woman told the driver she didn't think she had money for the fare and tried to leave the car, she later told police.

The driver then jumped out from behind the wheel and hit the woman repeatedly with a belt, according to police.

A passerby walking towards Bushwick Avenue on Johnson heard the screams from blocks away he said, but didn't know where they were coming from at first.

"'Oh please help," the woman screamed, according to Ramiro Sandoval who was walking home that night. "This woman was screaming her gut out. It was terrifying."

He got closer and saw the taxi driver whipping the girl with what looked like a belt. Still too far away to do anything, he dialed 911, Sandoval said.

"I see a guy just holding a woman by her hair, whipping the hell out of her," he said.

Another man walking nearer to the pair approached the taxi driver, who then drove off leaving the girl in the middle of the road sobbing. 

"She was kind of like sitting and crying, crying, crying," Sandoval said.

When police showed up on the scene the woman had whip marks all over her body, a police officer observed.

No arrests had been made as of Wednesday, police confirmed.

The victim described the driver as in his thirties, around 5 foot 7 and bald, according to police.