January 10, 2007

chased by the NYPD

I helped my friend Patti set up a new Mac, wireless network, printer, the works, going till just after midnight. Being on the way east side, she sent me home with cab fare and I walked over to First Avenue to pick one up.

First sign of wrecklessness, the cabbie I flagged down crossed four lanes and cut off others to get to me. I climb in. He doesn't know where my cross streets are so I just tell him to get me down near Washington Square Park. No big deal. Partway through, we're westbound somewhere down in the teens. In front of us are three other cabs and a tow truck. My guy decides he'll cut everyone off on the left and speed through the light. Just as we're getting to the front of the line, the tow truck begins to turn left in front of us. A slamming of brakes, arms waving and lots of cursing. It's an NYPD tow truck. My cab driver jumps out of his car and starts waving and screaming with total belligerence at the uniformed cop. The officer says to him pretty nicely, "Wait right here." Goes back to his truck. Comes back and asks for license and registration, adding that if the driver didn't comply, they'd have a problem. Cabbie cusses him out instead. Backs up (since the tow truck is across our front), and then takes off! I told him "You really need to stop the car." He told me to ignore the guy, he's not a cop.

NYPD truck chases us. Tries to cut us off again. Cabbie says to me, "You see? This guy is crazy!" Finally, the officer blocks us off again. He gets out, he waves at me to get out of the cab. I open the door and begin to climb out. The cabbie TAKES OFF AGAIN while I was getting out, so I shut it and slide back in. Cabbie says, "He's crazy! You're my witness!" The officer gets back into the truck and chases us some more. The cab gets me two blocks from where I need to be. I just want to get out. The tow truck cut in front of us one more time, totally blocking the cabbie. The officer comes out, waves me out. I'm ready this time, and jump out of the car as fast as possible. The officer tells me to get in his truck, he'll drive me home. The cabbie starts screaming at me for his fare and the cop just looked at him and told him he wasn't getting it. He clears off the messy front seat for me, and I climb in. He drives me around to where I needed to be, and says "That guy's crazy. He's going to be arrested."

I ask him, "Would you please wait for me to get inside before you leave?"
And he does.
And I figure I ought to get Patti her cab fare back.

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