Man ‘steals’ taxi in Gramercy, then crashes it, injuring four

Ilir Kuka was arrested in February after allegedly driving off in the cab he’d been riding in, going the wrong direction and hitting a minivan. (Pictured) Emergency responders at the scene (Photo by Steve Kaufman)

Ilir Kuka was arrested in February after allegedly driving off in the cab he’d been riding in, going the wrong direction and hitting a minivan. (Pictured) Emergency responders at the scene (Photo by Steve Kaufman)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 26-year-old man early Sunday morning after he reportedly went on a joyride in a cab he stole in Gramercy, resulting in the hospitalization of four people.

The trouble started when a cab driver picked up Miguel Batiz and his coworker near East 21st Street and Second Avenue at 5:30 a.m. They got into the cab, and the driver said that Batiz told him to take them to the Bronx. When the driver asked what the exact address was for where they wanted to go, he said that Batiz began giving him directions that would not take them to the Bronx. The driver said that Batiz started to get agitated, then opened the partition between the front and backseat of the cab. The suspect then allegedly grabbed the driver by his collar, pushed him and said, “drive me where I tell you to go.”

At this point, the driver got nervous so he pulled the cab over and turned on his emergency light. Police said that Batiz then got out of the cab, opened the front passenger door and started punching the driver. He then allegedly grabbed the driver by the head and told him that if he didn’t drive him where he wanted to go, he would cut him.

The driver said that Batiz grabbed at his waistline, where the victim believed he had a knife, although the driver said he did not see a weapon. Batiz allegedly put the victim in a headlock and said, “If you won’t drive, I will.”

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