We’re not sure why anyone is still using taxi-cabs in 2017, but here we are. Cab driver won’t unlock doors for military veteran when he can’t pay the $35 fare. Army vet assaults the cab driver, driver keeps him locked in, drives back to original location where cops are waiting. There’s SO much wrong with this, not the first of which is that a cab driver locked a customer in their vehicle and drove for 10 miles back to downtown. Kidnapping, anyone?
Brandon Kaiser, 24, was partying the night away at Paradise Park downtown in the early hours of Monday morning, when he hailed a cab back to where he was staying while in town, about 10 miles from downtown.
It is our policy to not routinely name assault victims in police reports, however we do routinely name theft victims, and in this case, the victim of the theft of the $67 round trip ($35 of which is the original fare) is Cab Driver Simon Debas Haile. Both parties are likely equally responsible for escalating this situation.
According to the cab driver, when he told Kaiser he was ready to be paid, Kaiser repeatedly stated :
“Let Me Out”
The taxi cab driver, Simon Debas Haile, refused to let Kaiser out of the cab since Kaiser was unable to pay him. Haile then said he was going to call the police, Kaiser reached around the driver’s seat and struck him in the mouth with his fist. Haile called 911, and Kaiser then wrapped his arms around the driver’s neck, causing the cell phone to drop to the floorboard of the cab. Once he released his grip, he drove back to the pick up location downtown and met a THP Officer at 4th & Broadway, where Kaiser was taken into custody.
The cab driver kept the meter running on the return ride, turning the $35 ride into a $67 fare, for which he was charged with theft.
Her’s the court affidavit:
I, Simon Debas Haile, picked up the defendant, Brandon Robert Kaiser, from 411 Broadway (Paradise Park) because I was working as a taxi cab driver. I drove the defendant to his desired location approximately ten miles away. When we arrived, I told the defendant I was ready for him to pay me the $35.00 and he repeatedly stated, “let me out.” I explained that he needed to pay me before exiting the vehicle and that if he needed to leave to get the money, I needed him to leave a form of identification with me. The defendant refused, so when I told him I was going to call the police, he reached around to my driver seat, and struck me in the mouth with his fist. After I dialed 911 I told the defendant I had police on the phone and he proceeded to wrap his arms around my neck and caused my cell phone to fall to the floor board. When the defendant released his hands from me, I drove back to the location that I picked him up from and met with a Tennessee Highway Patrol Officer at the intersection of 4th Ave S and Broadway. Once I arrived at the location, the fare increased to $67.00. When Officer Ehrhardt arrived, the defendant stated he was not able to pay me and that he needed to go home.
Kaiser bonded out to his Columbus, OH address, and will return to court on 01/10/18.