By KATELYN HRUBY & JANET DIGERONIMO
A cab driver charged with attempted murder testified on Tuesday that when he denied his alleged victims a ride from East 54th Street to the Bronx, they were drunk and “just wanted trouble.”
“They couldn’t accept that I had to be back at the station at four a.m.,” said Mohammed Azam, 27, who took the stand in his own defense in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The case stems from an incident in March of 2011 when Azam allegedly refused a ride to four men wanting to go to the Bronx from their Midtown location. The driver’s refusal escalated into violence and Azam is accused of ramming his vehicle into two of the men and then leaving the scene. roshe run flywire femmes One would-be passenger, 24-year-old Anthony Loreto remained in a medically induced coma for 11 days.
Azam also testified that the two men had jumped on the hood of his car while it was in motion. Azam, who has been driving local taxis for over two years, said that he didn’t know if his foot was on the brake, but he was sure that it was not on the gas
The driver earlier had testified that the alleged victims uttered racial slurs but it arose on cross-examination that he did not mention the slurs in his earlier statements to officials.
Faced with this apparent discrepancy Azam said, “I’m a U.S. citizen since 1996. I’ve been hearing these racial comments for years left and right, I didn’t think it was an issue I should raise.”
Asked why he did not go directly to the cab station, Azam said he was in shock and needed to “calm myself down.” He never called 911.
“This whole event was such a crazy thing,” said Azam. “I never wish it on any man.”
He faces up to 25 years in prison.