A taxi passenger gone wild hijacked the cab he was in and went on a drunken, mile-long ride that ended with him crashing into a traffic pole in Union Square early Sunday.
The stunt landed Michael Findley, 31, of the Lower East Side, in handcuffs, and left cabbie advocates outraged at the lack of respect drivers seem to get.
“Drivers are risking their lives everyday,” said Fernando Mateo, of the NY State Federation of Taxi Drivers. “New York should appreciate them a little more.”
The crazy joyride began when Findley was picked up at Delancey Street and the Bowery around 3 a.m. and got into a fight with the cab driver, police said. The allegedly drunk Findley slugged the driver in the face, pulled him from the car at Lafayette and East Houston streets, and sped off in the taxi, police said. The driver, who police did not identify, was not seriously hurt.
Findley allegedly sped down the wrong way on East Houston and Mercer streets and later slammed into a pole at 15th Street, suffering minor injuries, police said.
Findley was to be arraigned Sunday on DWI, robbery and other charges. The name of Findley’s attorney was not immediately available.
Mateo on Sunday urged drivers to refuse rides if they feel threatened. “If you believe your life could be in danger, go on to the next person, he said.
The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission declined to comment.