Two charged with beating, robbing cabbie who refused to speed

An East Boston couple were arraigned on assault and battery and robbery charges yesterday after they allegedly beat a cabbie who wouldn't step on it to get them to a doctor's appointment on the other side of the harbor, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.

Prosecutors say Kristy Morgan, 28, and Robert Chamness, 31, hailed a medallion cab around 10:50 a.m. on Friday outside the Maverick T stop and asked to be driven to Boston Medical Center. But after crossing under the harbor and getting to Merrimac Street, the couple realized they might not make their 11 a.m. appointment on time:

The woman allegedly instructed the driver to hurry up in order to get her to the medical center by 11:00 a.m. When the driver refused to break the speed limit in order to comply, the woman allegedly reached from behind the driver’s seat to scratch the cabbie's face, leaving red marks on the right side of the victim's face near his eye. The male passenger then began punching the victim in the neck and at the base of his skull, prosecutors said. The victim's glasses were broken during the assault.

Prosecutors say the couple then demanded back the $30 they had paid upfront for the ride:

In fear for his safety, the victim pulled a stack of cash totaling approximately $45 from his pocket, but before he could separate the $30 demanded by the two passengers, the woman grabbed the wad of bills and both assailants then fled the cab.

According to the DA's office, police spotted the pair in the area of Meridian and Liverpool streets in East Boston. They managed to get the cabbie over there and he IDed both as his attackers and police arrested them - but not without a struggle:

As police placed both Chamness and Morgan under arrest, Morgan kicked and elbowed officers, causing both Morgan and the officers to fall to the ground.

Prosecutors asked for $2,500 bail for each at their Boston Municipal Court arraignment on charges of assault and battery, unarmed robbery, malicious destruction of propery over $250. Morgan was also charged with resisting arrest and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Judge Michael Coyne released both on their own recognizance.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Wait..

They couldn't get a Boston cabbie TO drive recklessly?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

But I feel for the guy, he was just doing his job the right way, which is news in itself for cabs around here.

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Hmmmm.

he was just doing his job the right way

He was? What was up with the $30 up-front?

I agree that the notion of a Boston cabbie who refused to speed beggars belief.

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I'm glad

someone pointed that out. I actually did question that when I was writing the original comment, but took it out before posting because:

1. The police were involved, and it didn't seem to be made an issue.
2. Taxi Fare Finder has the trip at ~$22, with a lowball tip and no tolls included. Add in the toll and boost the tip and you're right around $30.

How or why the cash ended up with him at the start of the trip is up for debate...

Cash up front

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Cash up front all the time. Sometimes you save a few bucks sometimes you pay a buck or two extra, but it avoids the frustration of detours and traffic driving the fare through the roof.

Smart Cabbie

Not that it justifies it but the driver was smart enough to know if he didn't get his cash up front there was no way these people would pay when they got where they were going.

Every cab I've used in Boston has a partition to prevent exactly what happened. Did they manage to open up the divider or did the cab not have the plastic to begin with? I always assumed it was part of the regulations.

I feel like

the partitions have somewhat of a door that can be opened and closed, and more often times than not they're open.

I could be imagining this, because I can't ever get a cab to take me where I live don't take cabs very often.

East Boston: Thanks, you two

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You found the one cab driver who was willing to be in East Boston and you have to go and ruin it for the rest of the Easties.

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37

you have to really scrape

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you have to really scrape hard at the bottom of societies barrel to find folks like these two assailants. the judge did exactly what I thought he would-let em go

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14

Cab: $30

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Cab: $30

Ambulance: $450

I'd stick with the cab.

I don't blame the cabbie

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If you saw THAT couple getting into your cab, you'd ask for money up front too.

They should be made to pay the cabbie $1000 and wash his car every day for a month.

But....

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How could the cabbie have known that the couple in question would turn on them in such a barbaric, brutal fashion? One doesn't always know, imho.

Sure hope that the cabbie's alright, and that the couple who assaulted/injured him get arrested and thrown in jail for awhile. It seems like there should be a sign in all taxi cabs saying

"Do not touch the cab driver. Violence committed against taxi cab drivers will be prosecuted."

No bail

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Interesting that they were released without bail...

Your headline says they were

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Your headline says they were charged. Charged with what? They walked out of court free

Time for one of those Law & Order dum DUMs ...

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They are still charged with a variety of offenses (it's in the story) and they're still going to have to face a trial at which they could be found guilty and even sentenced to prison time. It's just the judge decided bail wasn't needed to get them to show up at court for their next hearing.

Despite the fact the prosecution

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recommended a bail amount. And exactly what reasons did the judge give for ignoring the prosecution's recommendations? Oh that's right - judges don't need to explain their actions on the public record.

I believe the partition is

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I believe the partition is suppose to 2 inches wide. A few years ago there was an incident similar to this, and after that the cabs would put a short "stick" in the partition to prevent it from opening any further. I remember a cabbie explaining it to me a while back.

10:50 for an 11:00am appointment at BMC? cash up front? anxious about missing the appointment and resorting to violence immediately? must have been a very important appointment, pain clinic?

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I don't either

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Cab driver is doing his job, dealing with knuckleheads, and comments are mocking....

I don't take cabs very often

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I don't take cabs very often because they're too expensive, but when I do they always drive super slow. They even stop for pedestrians in crosswalks which no other car will do. (Not that that's a reason to assault a driver, but just wondering about the speeding-cabs comments.)

They were looking for a fight—there's no way anyone could get from East Boston to BMC in 10 minutes, even speeding, especially factoring in time to get where your actual appt is in BMC. I always give myself 10 minutes just to go a mile! And even then I'm usually late. It sounds like they were just after some fast cash. I wonder if they even had an appointment.

They stop

Because they have people inside and can milk the meter.

I'm cutoff by empty cabs on a daily basis, ESPECIALLY Bay State cabs in Kenmore rushing back to Brookline during the morning commute to get as many fares into the city as possible. Also witnessed an Ambassador SUV thread a very thin needle and make its own lane between the far right lane and sidewalk on Storrow, right where the extra lanes merge in from MGH a few hundred feet before the Cambridge/1A/93 split last week. Charged down as far as he could and just cut in on someone, whether that person planned on stopping for him or not. He was headed somewhere in the Callahan, driving an empty Cambridge Cab.

Then there was the guy who just rolled his window up and drove away without saying a word when I told him I was going to Eastie. While I was still standing in the road right next to the car.

Doesn't mean this particular driver is a bad driver, nor does it make what these people did to him ok, but Boston/Brookline/Cambridge cabs in general are a joke.

Animals

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This people are animals! Rushing to the BMC for what? Do they know we now have methadone available to you in Eastie!

And for the guy who suggested to use an ambulance, well you are an idiot! We have 1 ambulance dedicated to East Boston, and spends most of the time responding to Logan airport, on top of that now you want to call it for non emergencies?

The cost of a basic ambulance transport is $900.00, plus interventions made and distance it gets really expensive fast, but I bet the guy above has Mass health for insurance and can't care less about the cost since is not him but the taxpayers who cover his medical bills.

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