City Desk

Cab Driver Loses His License for Punching a Passenger

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.

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  • Drez

    "The passengers in DC taxis should be assured that we will move swiftly to take action against such unacceptable behavior by drivers,"
    Um. This event happened 11 months ago.
    That's "swift action"?

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  • J

    At least it's something. I've never heard of a cab drier's sexual assault victim ever getting justice.

  • NRZ

    I was nearly assaulted by a cabbie in midday. I was on my way to my doctors office for a severe sinus infection and when I said he was going the wrong way. He became upset and started screaming at me. When I asked him to stop, he said you're not my woman and can't tell me what to do. So I got out when he was stopped and he almost hit me with his car and got out shouting at me. Pedestrians were kind enough to stop and intervene. As I kept asking him to step back and not come any closer, his fists were clenched. He was asking me to pay him -- and I just wanted him to go away. So a woman offered $17 for my $20 for change. I threw the $7 as close as I could get it. He yelled you little shit and sped off. I was unable to get his cab number and was completely shaken from the incident. I honestly hate taking cabs here in DC -- 1/2 times I have an awful experience. There are good ones here too, but the system allows for ZERO accountability. Why don't we have a medallion system?!

  • yup

    Drez, I'm guessing they waited for a conviction to act: since he was only found guilty "earlier this month", they couldn't fire him sooner (though I hope he was at least suspended pending investigation this whole time).

  • DC_JDH

    Must be the same ahole that motioned he would slap me b/c I didn't have change. A driver with serious anti-woman issues.

  • Emanuel Clarke

    When I was doing security in my early 20's (WILL BE 32 THIS MARCH); I remember that I had difficulty getting a taxi to take me to 5th and Randolph Streets NW where my house is. I am WHITE and they don't just discriminate on the basis of of your race; but also where you live. The one's who did offer to take me wanted me to pay no less than $20.00 and that was in 2002-2003.