The next time you accuse your cab driver of cheating you, there’s now a slightly smaller chance you’ll get a beatdown. As of yesterday, passenger-punching cabbie Kefyalew Teshome is out of the D.C. cab game entirely.
Late at night on March 3, 2012, Teshome was driving a passenger downtown when the passenger accused Teshome of inappropriately setting the meter to snow emergency rates, which increases the fare by 25 percent. The passenger asked to get out, Teshome erased the meter—-then demanded $15.
His passenger refused the pay unless Teshome could make change and tried to hail another cab. Instead of letting his taxi regulation-savvy passenger go unmolested, however, Teshome punched him and fled.
Earlier this month, a judge found Teshome guilty of simple assault and ordered him to perform community service. But now, the D.C. Taxi Cab Commission is leveling its own punishment, suspending Teshome’s license and fining him $1,000.
“The passengers in DC taxis should be assured that we will move swiftly to take action against such unacceptable behavior by drivers,” D.C. Taxi Cab Commission chairman Ron Linton says in a press release. So rest assured, if your cab driver punches you after trying to cheat you, you’ll eventually get some justice.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery.