A cabbie fought off attackers who beat and shot at him in an attempted robbery on Saturday morning and flip on its side, according to the manager of Lindy’s Taxi and police reports.
Bob McGrane, manager of the Mt Sinai location of Lindy’s Taxi praised his driver on Tuesday as he recounted the harrowing tale during a phone interview.
"He’s definitely a hero," McGrane said.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, the cab driver–whose name was withheld by his manager when describing the scene–was dispatched to Pine Street in Port Jefferson Station. According to McGrane, two men came from behind the house and got into the cab asking to be taken to an address in Amityville.
Police identified the men as William Hill, 29, and Anthony Cheever, 22, both of the same address on Pine Street in Port Jeff Station.
Because of the long trip and expense, the driver asked for the fare upfront but the men told him that money was waiting for them at their destination. When the driver refused to take them without being paid first, one of the men grabbed him and started punching him in the face. The driver sped off while he was being attacked, which is when things escalated said McGrane.
“One of the guys turned to the other guy and said ‘kill him,’” he said.
The story gets even more incredible.
One of the men then pulled out a shotgun, blowing out the side window of the car. Thinking fast the driver grabbed the barrel of the gun while still steering with his free hand and getting beat up.
“He said to them ‘you guys are going for a ride,’” said McGrane.
The driver hit the gas and sped down Mt. Sinai Avenue. When he attempted to turn into the Sunoco gas station at the end of the street, the he lost control of the vehicle and crashed, turning the car on its side. When police arrived, the driver was out of the car and the two men were pinned inside.
At some point during the melee, according to McGrane, the driver was able to call into his dispatch office to tell them that he was being robbed and they called 911.
Hill and Cheever were charged with first-degree reckless endangerment by police. According to McGrane the cab driver is still at Stony Brook Hospital with a neck injury.