Taxi driver in coma after brutal beating

Assemblymember Ron Kim talks about the Taxi Driver Protection Act, which he is introducing along with Ed Braunstein and Walter Mosley.

New York City taxi drivers and assemblymembers are demanding justice after a taxi passenger brutally assaulted a driver, Key Chun Kim, in the early morning of New Year’s Day during an argument over the fare.
Kim, 53, is in a coma.
But his alleged assailant, Andrew McElroy, 28, is free on $10,000 bail.
Kim’s family, his fellow taxi drivers and three local assemblymembers – Ron Kim, Ed Braunstein and Walter Mosley – gathered for a prayer vigil in front of Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, where Kim was receiving treatment, on Thursday afternoon. They demanded stronger prosecution for McElroy, and anyone who assaults a taxi driver.
When the driver’s sister, Kristin Kim, heard McElroy was set free on bail and not charged with a felony, she was shocked.
“It was nonsense to me for anybody to beat anybody into a coma,” Kim said. “I thought the case was not treated fairly, and without feeling.”
Kim, Braunstein and Mosley spoke about the Taxi Driver Protection Act – which would require assaults against drivers to be prosecuted as felonies and for signs to be posted in all taxis warning against such violence. Kim said legislation about the in-taxi signs will be introduced next week, and he is optimistic that the other piece of the law will gain traction quickly.
“We are here because we are hopeful for the DA to bring the case before the grand jury,” Braunstein said. “Any kind of assault on a taxi driver should be considered a felony.”
A spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said assaults on transit workers, EMT workers and school safety workers are automatically prosecuted as felonies. The Assault on Transit Workers Initiative, in place since 2008, covers bus and subway operator assaults. But there are no such penal laws designated for assaults on taxi drivers, he said.
Assaults against taxi drivers are treated like assaults against any civilian, without any special regulations, he said. Although McElroy was charged with misdemeanors and felonies, according to Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, he can only be prosecuted with a felony through a grand jury indictment.  But no such grand jury indictment has or is scheduled to occur.
Ibrahim Bah, who has been a taxi driver for nine years, was attacked by a group of passengers last month when he refused to allow six passengers in his car, because the riding limit is only four. He spoke out about the need for the Taxi Driver Protection Act.
“Many of us choose to drive taxis,” he said. “Why can’t I do my job? At least we deserve some protection.”


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.