Cabbies have every right to refuse to pick up obviously drunk people, a judge said on Tuesday, but they can’t physically toss a fare from the vehicle, as one did in April. That’s a license-revoking act. Everybody knows some pretty heated exchanges happen between cabbies and their drunken fares in the wee hours. But the back-and-forth between driver Sidikiba Diallo and his would-be passenger Glenn Yonemitsu was particularly nasty, and ended with Diallo physically tossing Yonemitsu from the cab. Yonemitsu says Diallo lost his temper when Yonemitsu insisted he drive to Queens from Manhattan. Diallo says Yonemitsu was drunk, vomiting, and cursing, so he pushed him out. It’s the pushing that cost Diallo his license, the judge said, per the New York Daily News: “The judge recommended the hack lose his license for assaulting his passenger, though he was within his right to refuse to take the inebriated man to Queens.” Eventually, Diallo didn’t drive Yonemitsu to Queens, but it wasn’t because he put hands on him.
The video’s a little hard to follow, so what happened, briefly, is that after the pair argued for a while, Diallo got into the backseat and propelled Yonemitsu onto the street (that’s at about 1:30 in the video). But Yonemitsu kept climbing back into the cab, and Diallo kept trying to push him out. Eventually Diallo took off with the doors open and Yonemitsu still in the back seat, the New York Post reported. “Diallo testified that his stubborn passenger eventually left when he told him he was driving to a police precinct.” Not to Monday morning quarterback, but wouldn’t it have been easier if Diallo had just done that in the first place?