Lawsuit: Outraged Passenger Forced to Pay Fare to Antisemitic Cabbie Who Yelled ‘Death to the Jews’
Police ordered a Jewish woman to pay her New York City cab fare even after she told them that the antisemitic driver yelled “All Jews must die!” soon after she entered his vehicle, the New York Daily News reported on Tuesday.
Baila Sebrow, a columnist for The 5 Towns Jewish Times, filed a lawsuit against the driver and his cab company in the Manhattan Supreme Court late Monday. The Long Island native said her Sunday morning cab ride from the Carlton Hotel, near Madison Square Park, turned into a nightmare the moment she got into the car.
“The guy starts driving, he asks me if I’m Jewish. I said yes. His response was, ‘All Jews must die,’ ” Sebrow, 51, said. “Then he started driving really fast, in a scary way. I was afraid he would crash.”
Scared for her life, Sebrow said she demanded that the cabbie take her back to the hotel. The driver agreed but insisted that she still pay the fare. He “continued to yell wildly about ‘death to Jews’ while making a gun gesture towards Sebrow with his fingers,” according to the lawsuit.
When Sebrow called 911, she said a cop told her, “You have to pay him. You’ll have to take up the rest with the TLC,” referring to the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission. Meanwhile, the driver kept the meter running so the less than 5 minute cab ride ended up costing Sebrow $30, she said.
Sebrow is seeking damages, set to be determined in trial, on the grounds that she was denied a cab ride based on prejudice, the New York Daily News noted.
“If people are going to bring whatever political or religious biases into that job they shouldn’t be driving taxis,” her attorney Robert Tolchin said.
According to a New York Police Department spokesman, police responded to the incident and Sebrow was “very combative and belligerent” toward the cops. The cabbie, identified in court documents only as MD N. Mia, also called 911, police said. Sebrow said the driver “should definitely not be on the road.”
Attempts by the New York Daily News to reach the driver were unsuccessful.