A livery cab driver sensed something was amiss early Sunday morning when he picked up a jittery passenger in Queens who insisted on riding shotgun. He sent out an SOS to his fellow drivers, who, in an old-school example of urban frontier justice, all converged on the Ozone Park destination of his rider. And then things got a bit out of control.
As it turns out, he was right: The pickup, Cloyd Clarke, 25, had been accused of stealing a tablet and cash from his previous ride. Upon hearing the SOS, fellow drivers, including Clarke’s recent victim, showed up. In the ensuing face-off, Clarke stood down and offered to return the stolen goods. He just needed a minute to go back inside and grab that hot merchandise real quick.
However, Clarke came back out not apologetic and with the bundle of stolen goods, but with a foot-long machete (which for some reason has become the weapon of choice among urban nutjobs).
As one neighbor, who witnessed the early morning mayhem, described the incident, “The guy was running in his bare feet with a machete. He was just a crazy man. He was saying he was defending himself, but everyone was running from him.”
Clarke was subdued by officers on the scene shortly after their arrival. He was the only victim of his own madness, as he managed to slice his hands during the frenzy. After being transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for care, presumably in the back seat, he was charged with criminal trespass, menacing, petit larceny, aggravated harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon.