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Ridgewood cabbie admits imprisoning family in taxi at JFK

TimesLedger Newspapers

A Ridgewood livery cab driver has pleaded guilty to charges of imprisoning a Panamanian family in his speeding taxi in a terrifying ride fleeing police.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Bhupinder Singh, 38, of 17-08 Himrod St. in Ridgewood, entered a guilty plea Monday to first-degree unlawful imprisonment.

Queens Criminal Court Judge Dorothy Chin-Brandt indicated she would sentence Singh to six months in jail and five years probation June 4.

Brown said Singh approached the Panamanian family of four after their arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport Feb. 21 and illegally offered ground transportation.

Port Authority Police Officer Dante Castro-Recio observed Singh escorting the unsuspecting family, Maria Maurelle Sosa, Tomas Sosa and their children Aldo Sosa, 17, and Andres Sosa, 12.

When Castro-Recio stepped from his car and identified himself as a police officer, Singh locked his car doors, put the car in reverse and drove around the policeman, fleeing at high speed with the officer in pursuit.

At one point in the chase, Aldo Sosa grabbed the steering wheel and jerked it to the right, sending the Lincoln Town Car into a guard rail and causing minor injuries to his parents.

Singh abandoned his car and fled on foot, but was soon captured by police.

Brown said it was another instance of unregulated taxis and unscrupulous drivers who are not properly licensed and do not carry appropriate insurance.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or phone at 718-260-4536.

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