TLC inspector dragged by livery driver

N.J. Burkett reports from Brooklyn
March 31, 2014 2:22:25 PM PDT
Police are searching for the livery driver who dragged a woman doing her job monitoring and inspecting cab drivers.

As she questioned a driver in Queens at Sutphin Boulevard and Archer Avenue in Jamaica, the driver pulled away, dragging the TLC lieutenant with him.

24 hours later police were cracking down. A driver was ticketed for making an illegal turn.

The streets outside Jamaica Terminal are a vortex of green, outer borough taxis, buses, and livery cabs. Sunday, a city taxi inspector was run down there while trying to question a livery driver.

Steven Ranucci watched it happen.

"The lady cop opened up the door and the guy sped off and ran her over. She got hurt, he peeled off this Sutphin here and took a left on 91st and his muffler was dragging and everything," Ranucci said. "She was dragged, she was holding on to the door. Yeah, she was trying to get the guy to come out of the car."

"He went straight down Sutphin," said Toniann Stahl, an eyewitness.

Toniann Stahl says the driver never looked back.

"He caught the lieutenant with the door," said spokesman Allan Fromberg. "She went down and struck her head and then was dragged for several feet. We're just grateful she's home and resting comfortably."

The inspector was enforcing a city law that forbids car service drivers from picking-up street hails. But Monday afternoon, Eyewitness News watched it happen over and over again.

One driver offered reporter N.J. Burkett a ride, saying the law simply doesn't matter.

"Everything, black car, everything same thing," the driver said. ""Yes! Black car, green car, yellow cab, same thing now. No problem, no problem."