Port Authority police said their crackdown on taxi hustlers at JFK Airport got dangerous when an unlicensed cabbie dragged an officer 75 feet onto the sidewalk with his vehicle.
The officer approached the 2011 Lincoln Town Car outside Terminal 7 Monday night after spotting him illegally hustling rides, the authority’s Joseph Pentangelo said.
When the officer asked for his driver’s license and vehicle paperwork, 31-year-old Surjit Dhillon hit the gas, running over his foot and dragging him, Pentangelo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Witnesses said the vehicle mounted the sidewalk with the officer holding on before he fell.
Dhillon sped off but was quickly stopped on the Van Wyck Expressway and arrested, Pentangelo said.
The officer was recovering at North Shore Hospital on Long Island from an injured foot and ankle, along with various scrapes, scratches and bruises, he said.
Dhillon is charged with assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries. He was being held on $30,000 bail.
Refusing to accept a ride from a hustler who offers to let you cut the line — and then charges you three to four times the usual rate — is the best way to curb the practice.
Pentangelo said the authority “would rather arrest these guys than see innocent people get ripped off.”
Officers nonetheless have ended up issuing tens of thousands of summonses at city-area transportation hubs and impounded hundreds of vehicles over the past several years.
Those convicted face up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,250 fine.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy of PORT AUTHORITY PD
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