Rally held for taxi driver after brutal assault in Norwood

By SILE MOLONEY & DAVID GREENE

NYPD vehicle
Photo courtesy of Emergency_Vehicles via Flickr

A rally was held outside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital on March 20 to protest a brutal assault in Norwood on a taxi driver and to offer a reward for catching the assailants.

On Thursday, March 17, at 3560 Webster Avenue in Norwood, the NYPD told the Norwood News that the 61-year-old taxi driver was punched in the face after trying to intervene in an argument. No further information was provided about the incident by the police.

Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that livery driver Carlos Infante, 61, picked up a couple from the location just before 6 a.m. Thursday, and the couple were arguing upon arrival. Photos of the victim, apparently recovering in hospital after the assault, show him with a badly bruised black eye and other apparent injuries.

Fernando Mateo of the New York State Taxi Drivers Federation was quoted in the Post article as saying that Infante was also robbed of $600 during the assault, but the police could not officially confirm the theft. Norwood News tries to reach Mateo for a comment to corroborate this account of the incident.

According to 1010Wins, a rally was then held outside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital on March 20, organized by the New York State Taxi Drivers’ Federation, at which a $3,000 reward was reportedly offered for the arrest. of the affected couple.

The following day, March 21, Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell were in the Bronx to discuss the launch of Neighborhood Safety Teams in New York City.

The same day, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) announced March 21 that they had secured $400,000 in federal funding as part of bipartisan omnibus credit agreement for Jacobi Hospital’s youth violence reduction program, “Stand Up Against Violence.” In June 2021, politicians held a press conference urging Congress to provide $400,000 for the program.

Community-based violence intervention (CVI) programs are designed to prevent violence from happening in the first place by supporting those most at risk of gun violence, according to elected officials. They say young people who have participated in the SUV are 52% less likely to be injured in another violent trauma.

The funding will be used to add a mental health services component to the Stand Up to Violence (SUV) program. Modeled after the Chicago-based Cure Violence program, SUV deploys outreach workers to respond to fire to prevent retaliation and to assist family members of those who have been injured or killed. Additionally, they mentor young people in underserved communities by helping to create education and employment opportunities. The additional $400,000 will allow SUV to add an emergency social worker, social worker, part-time psychiatrist, and creative arts or music therapy therapist.

Norwood News previously reported a stabbing assault on another taxi driver in the Jerome Park area outside Tracey Towers in August 2020. A gofundme page was set up at the time to raise money for the required surgery of the driver, such was the extent of his injuries. A video of the suspect was later released, as noted.

In January 2022, we reported how a Westchester Square taxi driver was caught in the crossfire during a shootout and was shot in the leg, while at the same time a car collided with a second vehicle.

Last month, as reported, a taxi driver was stabbed, stiffened and robbed in the Fordham Heights neighborhood. At 9:28 p.m. on January 20, in the vicinity of 3222 Bronx Boulevard in Olinville, the 34-year-old male livery driver picked up three passengers who asked to be transported to another location. Shortly after, when the taxi arrived near 184th Street and Creston Avenue in Fordham Heights, the three passengers, two men and a woman, got out of the taxi without paying the fare and fled on foot.

The taxi driver got out of his vehicle and was able to apprehend the woman, but one of the two men turned around and stabbed the victim in the chest several times with a knife. The three suspects then fled on foot in an unknown direction. An undetermined sum of money was withdrawn from the victim after the assault. The emergency services intervened and transported the victim to Saint Barnabas hospital in a stable condition.

During this time, anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57- PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging on to the CrimeStoppers website at https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/ or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Edward K. Thompson