ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The violent robbery of a taxi driver in Albany Wednesday night continues to send ripples through the community. Fellow drivers expressing concern over the incident, but say these types of incidents don’t happen very often.
The scene took place near St. Peter’s Hospital, when a man allegedly struck a cab driver several times before making off with the vehicle.
“That usually doesn’t happen often, especially somebody taking our car,” said Thomas Rodgers Jr., a fellow cab driver who ended up taking the woman to the hospital following the violent outburst.
Rodgers was working Wednesday night when dispatch put out a call about the altercation, and rushed to New Scotland Avenue, “As I pulled up, she’s just bleeding profusely out of her face, she doesn’t have her glasses, she has no property.”
Rodgers helped the woman into his cab and brought her to Albany Med, “Just doing what I would want anybody else to do for me. I just did what I thought was best at the time, and that was getting her to the hospital.”
The incident, causing concern for other local drivers, who say they hope she fully recovers and is able to return to work.
“It’s getting dangerous out here. People are desperate for money, they’ll do anything for money,” said Benito Soler.
Soler has driven a cab for well over a decade, and says you have to constantly be aware of your surroundings, “You gotta watch your back. As soon as you get in your cab you gotta watch your back. I don’t move my cab until I get my money up front, that’s just the way it is.”
Asking for the fare is what supposedly sparked Wednesday’s incident. Police say 33-year-old William Bogdanowicz wanted a ride to Saratoga, after being told the fee he allegedly punched the driver several times in the face and forced out of the vehicle.
Shortly after taking the cab, police say he crashed on Hackett Boulevard, where he was taken into custody.
Rodgers says he visited the driver in the hospital, and that she is continuing to recover, “We spoke after she got out of the hospital, she’s doing good, like I said she’ll be out for awhile, so we’re just trying to get her some extra help.”
Police say she suffered lacerations and swelling, Rodgers adding a few of her bones were broken from the incident.
Bogdanowicz was charged with 2nd degree robbery and grand larceny in the 3rd. He was arraigned with bail set at $40,000.