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Texas Cabbie Sues Police After Drunken Attack

June 11, 2013  | 

Screenshot via KVUE.
Screenshot via KVUE.
An Austin, Texas, cab driver has sued the city and five police officers, after a drunk subject attacked him on the ride home, reports KVUE.

On June 10, 2011, the officers requested that Akbar Amir-Akbari, 66, drive home Dustin Christopher Rowden, who had been kicked out of a bar for fighting.

Rowden began punching the cabbie, who pulled into a convenience store. Rowden continued the assault until several bystanders helped out Amir-Akbari, who has driven a cab in the city for 30 years.

On Monday, he and the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) filed a federal lawsuit against officers Craig Smith, Joseph Brown, Russell Smith, Noel Guerin, and Brandon Bullock. The lawsuit also names the city.

A city ordinance says cab drivers can only refuse to transport a person if that person is disorderly, engaged in unlawful conduct, has no ability to pay the fare or puts the safety of the driver or cab at risk, reports KVUE.

Tags: Austin PD, Taxi Drivers, Intoxicated Subjects


Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

K9Wifey @ 6/12/2013 5:12 AM

So why is it that the officers ar responsible for this man? Is it that they didn't just take him to jail and book him in for public intoxication? I don't understand how this is something that the city and the officers can be sued for.

Sky @ 6/12/2013 7:08 AM

If the individual had been kicked out of the bar for fighting it already showed he was capable of violence. It would've been better to arrest him for P.I. (Public Intox) or have taken him to jail after a Private Person's arrest by the establishment for Disturbing the Peace or Vandalism (if applicable) than to put him in a cab. This act put the City in a position of liability when he attacked (allegedly) the cab driver. Ask yourself this. If the cab driver had been your son working his way through college by driving a cab, would you have put this drunk in the car with your son? Just a thought....yes the City is probably vicariously liable if the facts are true. The drunk probably doesn't have any money but the City sure does.

tiny @ 6/13/2013 5:40 AM

I can see why the suit was filed if it is as it sounds that the city is holding the cab companies license hostage in return for free cab rides for people. I would say that likely the cabs have been waiting for just this opportunity to fight a well meaning but short sighted ordinance that any decent city attorney should have forseen being problematic.

Allan Smith @ 6/14/2013 7:27 PM

The officers violated their own policy when they put a violent person in the cab and forced the cabbie to take him home. After 32 years as an officer I don't understand why he didn't' t go to jail. Drunk and fighting in a bar. In Austin, where I live these same officers will arrest a homeless person for sitting on the sidewalk.

S.S. @ 6/29/2013 2:26 PM

Even when we're right we're wrong. How is that the officer's fault. This dumbass cabbie should've realized that he could use the word "no". Now there's an idea!!! Dumbass!

ROM134 @ 6/30/2013 3:33 AM

NOT true. He walked to the cab, showed no signs of aggression and got in without an argument. Later on, he assaults cabbie, away he goes. Cabbie takes a year and a half, then decides to sue. If he'd refused service, there are a multiple other cabs there. He's lying, period. If APD arrested every drunk on 6th St, there'd be no one on the street. Those that need to go, go, those that are cooperative, sober rides are arranged for.

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