The criminal case against a former Morgan Stanley executive charged with stabbing a cab driver following a fare dispute was dropped Monday after a Connecticut state’s attorney revealed that the driver never turned the knife over to police. The driver, Mohamed Ammar, “had the knife the whole time,” said supervisory assistant state’s attorney Steven Weiss. “He had ample opportunity to tell police and he didn’t do that.” [...] Weiss emphasized that Jennings didn’t immediately call police and described him as uncooperative. But he said Ammar couldn’t adequately explain why he never gave the knife to investigators, even after an interview and a search of his cab. “I simply can’t go forward when I have a witness who didn’t cooperate with police,” Weiss said of Ammar. Jennings attended the brief hearing and thanked his family and attorney. “Obviously it feels good,” he said outside court. [WSJ, earlier]
Morgan Stanley Exec "Accidentally" Stabs Cab Driver After Difference Of Opinion Re: Fare
William Bryan Jennings is the co-head of North American fixed-income capital markets at Morgan Stanley, though his responsibilities have been passed onto a coworker for the time being until a particular matter is "resolved." That matter would be a cab ride he took on the evening of December 22, which resulted in Jennings being charged with "second-degree assault, theft of services and second-degree intimidation based on race or bigotry." At present, there are two conflicting stories about what happened. According to the cabbie, Jennings was driven from Manhattan to his home in Darien, CT, at which point he refused to pay the $200 cab fare and instead began "threatening the driver and using racial slurs," before intentionally stabbing the guy's hand with a "pen knife" that he "uses for fishing." According to Jennings' lawyer, upon arriving at in Connecticut, WBJ, who colleagues have described as the "nicest guy you'll meet," was appalled to learn of the "exorbitant amount" the driver was charging (which WBJ claims had been upped to $300). After refusing to pay, the driver supposedly told Jennings he was "going to take him back to the city," at which point Jennings pulled out the pen knife he had on him and "demanded to be let out of the car because he was fearful for his safety," cutting the driver who WBJ "did not intend to hurt" after he put his hand through the dividing window. Jennings' lawyer has 1) denied the racial slurs and 2) said it's “mind-boggling" that his client was charged and not the other way around (though, according to reports, the driver called the police at 12:30am to report the incident, and Jennings never did). As none of us were there at the time, we should refrain from speculating as to which half of the he said/he said is telling the truth. Though clearly there are a couple of important takeaways here, including but not limited to the fact that if one is going to snub the Metro North, one should expect to pay, figuratively but more so literally. Manhattan to Connecticut? I've had rides from the UWS to Midtown East cost upwards of $40. Let's not do this dance.