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Ridgewood cabbie admits guilt in chase at JFK

TimesLedger Newspapers

A Ridgewood livery cab driver has pleaded guilty to charges of imprisoning a Panamanian family in his speeding taxi while trying to elude police in a terrifying chase at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Bhupinder Singh, 38, of 17-08 Himrod St. in Ridgewood, entered a guilty plea May 7 to a charge of 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 they arrived at JFK 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, speeding away with the officer in hot pursuit.

At one point in the chase, Aldo Sosa grabbed the steering wheel and jerked it to the right, sending the Lincoln Town Car crashing 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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