Exclusive: Livery driver victimized twice

January 18, 2008 3:24:57 PM PST
A livery cab driver was victimized twice when he was involved in a hit and run, and then police left his car on the street in a high-crime area. Eyewitness News reporter Phil Lipof has the exclusive story.

"I'm very upset," Rajendra Khan said.

Khan is good and mad. He's a livery car driver. Now, his 2007 Lincoln Town Car is barely recognizable.

"The total price of the car was $54,000," he said.

Not to mention the extras, like a TV, floor mats and nice rims.

Last Thursday, he was hit in Queens by another car. While he was knocked unconscious, the other driver took off.

He was rushed to the hospital. A day later, he set out on a quest to find his car. His first stop was the 103rd Precinct, but they didn't have it.

"They gave me a list of the four towing companies that they usually work with to call by myself," he said. "I called all four of them, the car is not with none of them."

So as a last-ditch effort, he went back to the scene of the accident. And there it was.

"Up on a jack, all the wheels were gone, window broken," he said.

You can still see pieces of the car on the side of the road. We spoke to people who work in the area and watched the car sit there for a week. They say Khan is lucky they didn't take the whole car.

Khan says the police are to blame for leaving his car in a high-crime area for five days. But police tell Eyewitness News they followed proper procedure by securing the car on the side of the road, albeit in front of a fire hydrant.

As for Rajendra, who earns his living in that car, he says he's going to have to find new work. But he does add that he feels lucky to be alive.