A Long Beach Taxi driver was beaten and robbed last Sunday by a customer who police say refused to pay the $90 fare from Long Beach to Bayville.
Police arrested 20-year-old Kyle J. Johnston, of Greenwich Avenue in Bayville, on April 6 at 2:15 p.m., and charged him with second-degree robbery and theft of services.
Police said the incident occurred at approximately 7 a.m., when the 66-year-old cabbie took Johnston from Long Beach to Bayville, an approximately 33-mile trip that cost $90, according to Long Beach Taxi.
Police said that when they arrived at Greenwich Avenue, Johnston refused to pay the fare and an argument ensued. The male driver exited the vehicle, at which point Johnston allegedly threw him to the ground and began to punch and kick him in the face. Johnston also removed the victim’s money bag and fled on foot, police said.
Police said that the victim transported himself to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.
A joint investigation by Second Squad detectives, the Long Beach Police Department and Bureau of Specials Operations officers led to the arrest of Johnston on Deans Lane. He was placed under arrest without incident and was arraigned on Monday at First District Court in Hempstead.
A manager at Long Beach Taxi, who identified himself only as Rick, said that the driver suffered bruises to his face.
“His face is all bruised up, but he’ll be OK,” Rick said. “He has two black eyes, his nose is cut up, and his eyes are all puffed up. But thank God he’s going to be OK.”
Long Beach Taxi has operated in Long Beach for about 8 years, he said, and explained that such incidents are rare.
“This is the first one in at least five or six years,” he said.