ALBANY, N.Y.(NEWS10) – Police say an Albany cab driver was attacked by a patron late Wednesday night and two of her fellow drivers came to her rescue.
Police say it is not unusual for cab drivers to get swindled by non-paying patrons, but Albany Police Public Information Officer Steve Smith says one rider went even further by deciding to forcibly take the wheel.
“It’s definitely not a normal occurrence we’ve seen. You know taxicab drivers and delivery drivers have been robbed of money at times. But they don’t often see the vehicle stolen,” said Smith.
Smith tells NEWS10 a female taxi driver for Yellow Cab was assaulted around 11:30 Wednesday night when her rider asked for a trip he could not pay for.
“She did the right thing. She radioed her dispatcher to let them know kind of what was going on and there was a man who needed to go to Saratoga. The decision was made not to make that trip because the suspect in this case informed the driver that he couldn’t pay until he got to Saratoga,” said Smith.
That is when police say 33-year-old William Bogdanowicz then attacked the driver by punching in her in the face several times before forcing her out of the taxi. Police say Bogdanowicz then took off in the vehicle.
Two other taxi drivers were on the way to help their colleague and sped up even faster to her rescue when they heard of the alleged assault. When they arrived, one driver stayed with the female who was just attacked, and the other driver chased after Bogdanowicz as he tried to flee.
Police say that is when the suspect crashed the car on the 200 block of Hackett Blvd.
“Thankfully, her colleagues came to her aid as well and within minutes we were able to take this individual into custody,” explained Smith.
Police officers were on scene within six minutes and arrested Bogdanowicz. He was taken to jail and arraigned Thursday. He is charged with robbery in the second, which is defined as a robbery that causes physical injury to another person, and grand larceny in the third, meaning what he stole cost at least $3,000. He is being held on $40,000 bail.
Police say the woman has pain, swelling and lacerations to her face from the robbery.
When NEWS10 spoke to Yellow Cab this afternoon, the dispatcher there was able to confirm the driver in last night’s attack is home and resting.
While thankful for the outcome, Smith does a bit of advice when involved in a crime?