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Charges dropped against banker in cabbie attack

October 15, 2012 3:17:49 PM PDT
In Queens, a cab driver is angry and frustrated.

"It's unfair! I swear to God, it's really unfair!" said Mohamed Ammar, a cab driver.

In Stamford, a banker is thankful and relieved.

"I don't have a lot to say about the case beyond the fact that I think the outcome speaks for itself," said William Bryan Jennings, a banker.

Connecticut prosecutors dropped theft, assault and hate crime charges against former Morgan Stanley executive William Bryan Jennings of Darien.

"We appreciate the decision of the prosecutor in dropping the charge and making that decision. We both appreciate that," said Eugene Riccio, defense attorney.

Cab driver Mohammed Ammar claimed Jennings attacked him with a knife last December after the banker refused to pay the fare for a ride from Hell's Kitchen to Jennings's mansion in Darien, Connecticut. Police arrested Jennings for a hate crime attack after he allegedly yelled at the Egyptian-born taxi driver, "I'm going to kill you. You should go back to your country."

In Superior Court Monday morning, the 45-year-old learned prosecutors refused to move forward with the case because the cab driver concealed evidence, specifically the knife allegedly used in the attack.

But Ammar's attorney says his client didn't conceal the knife, he just didn't know he had it until weeks later when he noticed something in his cab.

"He didn't know what it was; he didn't know whose it was. He picked it up and he realized at that point he's holding the knife that may have been the knife that was used," said Hassan Ahmad, Ammar's attorney.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations now wants federal investigators to pursue the case. Ammar needed stitches on his hand after the alleged tussle with Jennings.

"The case is going to be closed and this guy is going to get away with it. He's going to run away with it. After all what happened to me, I am very sad. I am very upset," Ammar said.

"It's been a difficult ordeal for my family and a lot of my friends and without their support we wouldn't have been able to get through it," Jennings said.

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