Good Samaritan springs into action to help 78-year-old woman in altercation with cab driver in Brooklyn


NEW YORK — The search is on for a livery cab driver who was caught on camera fighting with an elderly woman with a cane.

That woman’s family told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes she is absolutely terrified, but incredibly grateful that a good Samaritan, who recorded the incident, came to her aid.

Ezra Halawani, the man behind the camera, said he could not believe what he was seeing Wednesday afternoon while out for a walk on East 35th Street in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

“I saw someone pulling out another person from their vehicle, so I pulled my phone out and started recording,” Halawani said.

It was then, he said, he realized the person pulled out of the car was an elderly woman who was hitting the driver with her cane.

Halawani followed the driver and tried to get him to stop, but he got back in his car and took off, police say, hitting Halawani in the process.

“When he hit me, I fell on top of his hood, and I fell on the floor, on my shoulder,” Halawani said.

He said he got right back up and went to help the woman. He asked her if she was okay and she responded by saying she wasn’t and then explained how the driver pulled her out of the cab, took her money, and her phone.

Halawani then told the woman that he had managed to get her phone back.

“I just couldn’t believe that someone could do something like that to, forget just an old woman, just any person in general,” he said.

Police confirm the incident happened at around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and that the woman and driver got into a dispute about where he would drop her off.

Halawani said she told him she was going to physical therapy, but the driver dropped her down the block and expected her to get out and walk, but she couldn’t.

“She was in bad shape, so he got upset and he went around and pulled her out of the car,” he said.

The woman’s daughter did not want to be identified, but said the family is grateful to Halawani, who made sure her mom got to the hospital.

“She doesn’t want to make a comment. She’s very scared,” the victim’s daughter said. “We’re very thankful to the good Samaritan. He saved the day.”

Police said the cab was operating as an Access-a-Ride. The Taxi and Limousine Commission said it is aware of the incident and is working with the NYPD on its investigation.

The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers released a statement, saying nothing justifies the driver’s actions and that his TLC driving privileges should be revoked.



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