Cabbie Sidikiba Diallo claims fare Glenn Yonemitsu was too drunk to give destination, vomited, cursed and spit
A taxi driver was stripped of his license Tuesday for tossing a passenger into a busy midtown street in a brawl caught on videotape.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission announced the license revocation Tuesday.
“That’s good to hear,” Yonemitsu, 28, told the Daily News.
The city had hauled Diallo before an administrative judge over the summer. At the hearing, the cabbie said Yonemitsu was drunk and had vomited and cursed, but the passenger, a computer programmer, claimed
Diallo made lame excuses about why he couldn’t drive him to his home in Sunnyside.
The judge recommended the hack lose his license for assaulting his passenger, though he was within his right to refuse to take the inebriated man to Queens.
Diallo, a driver for 20 years, said he had not received notification of the punishment and was still driving a cab.
“I want to defend my name,” he said. “This guy came along — he was drunk. … I just pushed him out of the cab.”
The administrative judge ruled the cabbie should have simply called 911 rather than take matters into his own hands.
She also found little evidence to back up the cabbie’s claims, while noting the video clearly captured his own “abusive conduct.”
The tape shows Yonemitsu standing with friends outside Ichi Umi before getting into the cab just before 3 a.m.
Over the next seven minutes, Diallo is seen getting in and out of the taxi, opening the passenger door and apparently arguing with his passenger.
He then climbs inside the cab, where a struggle in the back seat ensues. Yonemitsu is then pushed from the cab, with Diallo tumbling out after him.
The pair grapple in the road, but Yonemitsu jumps back in the cab — and Diallo pulls him back out and sends him sprawling across the street like a rag doll.
“It hurt a lot,” Yonemitsu recalled. “I ended up with a lot of injuries that did last a long time.”
The video then shows Diallo dashing into the driver’s seat and Yonemitsu hopping into the back again. With the rear doors still wide open, the cab barrels down the street and around the corner — where Yonemitsu says he jumped out and called police.
Diallo was not charged with a crime, evidence, he said that he didn’t assault anyone.
“If I beat him, if that was case, I was going to be arrested,” he told the News. “He was very drunk.”
The judge wrote that TLC rules allow drivers to refuse service to drunk or disorderly passengers, but there was no excuse for the “angry, out-of-control assault.”
“[His] misconduct is of the severest kind,” Judge Tynia Richard wrote of Diallo in her August report.
TLC Commissioner David Yassky approved the judge’s recommendation.
“The kind of behavior exhibited by this individual is inexcusable, and will not be tolerated,” he said.
“Violence is never an option for people who hold a TLC license, and he has forfeited the privilege of having one.”
By Reuven Blau , Tracy Connor AND Kerry Wills