Taxi driver Ronald Pallone doesn't usually look the way he does right now.
He has cracked discs in his neck, a broken nose and a fractured knee, all left over from a fight for his life.
"The car protected me from everything else," Pallone said.
It all started early last Saturday morning when Pallone picked up two men at this home in Port Jefferson station.
Pallone refused to take them to their destination because they wouldn't pay up front, a company policy.
Pallone says one of the men punched him in the face.
"As I turned around to dial 911 he punches me in the back of the head, now he's got me by the hair. He's wrapped around me, beating me in the head," Pallone said.
Pallone, a former Marine, took off.
The guys told him to stop the car on a secluded street.
"As the car is slowing down, the other guy is lifting up a shotgun and this guy is yelling, 'shoot this guy,'" Pallone said.
As Pallone tried to knock the gun down, it went off, blasting out the side window.
Pallone took off again.
"That guy has the gun, he has it by my head, by my side, and I'm like, 'Man I'm going to get shot here!' So, I grab it and get a hold of it, and I push it down to the seat and now I'm driving," Pallone said.
He was driving fast.
Pallone spotted a nearby gas station, thinking there will be people there.
He flew over a curb, and the car flipped and landed on its side.
"And then I heard them say they couldn't get out. So I don't know. Automatically I took off my seat belt and I got out the window," Pallone said.
Police arrested the two men, William Hill and Anthony Cheever.
Pallone says while he wishes this didn't happen to him, he's glad it was him and not someone else.
"They ran into someone who was able to control the situation and stop them. If it was another driver, he might be killed he might be dead right now," Pallone said.
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