People tend to forget it (or ignore it), but much to Mayor Bloomberg's chagrin it is still illegal to hail a livery cab on the streets of New York City. And early Sunday morning came a prime example as to why, as far as New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers spokesman Fernando Mateo is concerned. Around 3:35 a.m. 33-year-old livery driver Marcos Manuel Villegas was shot in the back while trying to solicit a fare from a group of men in the Bronx.
According to the police, Villegas, who has been a hack for the last decade, was trying to solicit a fare when he "got into an argument with someone, and ended up being shot." A day later he is listed as being in serious but stable condition.
Sadly police have not caught Villegas's assailants. And may not. "When you try to pick a street hail in the street, you never know who you’re picking up," Mateo said. "You never know what intentions they have."
Worse, because the fight took place outside of the cab there may not be surveillance video of the shooters (but just in case, the NYPD are reviewing the car's camera footage). Still Mateo tells the shooters that if they are reading they should "just go and surrender; turn yourself in." And if you know anything, well, call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.