Taxi drivers union calls for justice in beating of livery driver in Brooklyn

EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The taxi drivers' union is calling for justice after a livery driver was brutally beaten in Brooklyn.

The Federation of Taxi Drivers says that on July 17, Hernando Rangel picked up seven teenagers who requested to be driven to different locations in East New York.

When the teenagers wouldn't give him a drop off location, Rangel told the teenagers to get out of his SUV.

Five of the teens got out, but Rangel said two of the boys started to beat him, taking turns.

The beating went on for blocks, when two police officers noticed the commotion and arrested one of the teens in the cab - allegedly in the midst of still beating Rangel.

The other teen was chased by police and eventually arrested.

Rangel was taken to Woodhull Hospital with a broken nose and severe injuries to his face.

The teens were taken to the 79th Precinct but were released because they were minors.

"The practice of releasing criminals because of their age must stop," New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers spokesman Fernando Mateo said. "The practice of justifying a crime because of your age must stop. The practice of prosecutors not pressing charges against a minor who committed a brutal crime must stop."

The federation takes it a step further, calling it a hate crime due to the fact that Rangel is Hispanic, and the teens allegedly involved are black.

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