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Astoria cabbie claims banker ballistic: Cops

TimesLedger Newspapers

A Morgan Stanley executive pleaded not guilty in Connecticut Superior Court Friday to attacking a New York City cab driver when the cabbie asked for his $204 fare for driving him from Manhattan to his home in Darien, Conn.

The New York Post identified the driver as Mohamed Ammar of Astoria.

“He was drunk and out of control, and he could have killed me,” Ammar told the Post. “That was one of the scariest moments of my life.”

William Bryan Jennings faces charges of assault, intimidation due to bias and larceny in connection with the Dec. 22 incident, according to the Connecticut courts’ website.

The Darien Police Department said Jennings agreed to pay Ammar $204, the city Taxi and Limousine Commission driver’s rate for the approximately 40-mile drive, before they left the city Dec. 22.

But when they got to Jennings’ house, the banker allegedly refused to pay and an argument began, Darien police said.

Ammar tried to call the police, but when he could not find a signal to call 911 on his cell phone, he tried to drive to the center of town to find an officer, Darien police said. As Ammar was driving away, Jennings allegedly took a pen knife out and stabbed at Ammar through the open partition, causing injuries to Ammar’s hand that required stitches, Darien police said.

Jennings allegedly also said to Ammar, “I’m going to kill you, you should go back to your country!” the Stamford Advocate reported.

After the alleged attack, Ammar drove to the side of the road and called 911.

The Morgan Stanley banker contacted the police two weeks after the incident and was arrested Feb. 29, Darien police said. He paid a $9,500 cash bond and was released on bail, Darien police said.

Jennings has claimed he was afraid he was being abducted and acted in self-defense, the Stamford Advocate reported.

Ammar told the Post he does not feel safe after the incident.

“This has been a problem for all cabdrivers,” Ammar told the Post. “You have no control my over who you pick up. I regret letting him into cab.”

The Connecticut courts’ website said Jennings’ next court date is April 12.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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