ST. LOUIS – An illegal cabbie continues operating in St. Louis despite repeated efforts by the Taxi Cab Commission to stop him.
Though regulators say the cabbie is prohibited from working in the city, it didn’t stop him from giving a terrifying ride to a man who says his cab ride turned into a fight for his life.
Mahad Abdi has a long criminal record ranging from harassment to assault. One police report says he randomly attacked a man for being white. Another says he threatened to decapitate everyone inside a US Bank, then told police officers “he would cut off our heads and hunt down our families.”
One St. Louis area woman found out the hard way – “The fact of the matter is he is not being stopped.”
The woman is afraid to give her name. Her son got in Abdi's cab in Soulard in October and says he was taken in the opposite direction. He demanded Abdi stop the cab. He got out and said Abdi attacked him over the fare.
“Luckily he’s scrappy and he is a recent graduate from college and he played college hockey, so he was able to get away and defend himself from this guy,” the woman said.
His mother is doing the talking because the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged her son with property damage and assault. She says prosecutors don’t have all the facts and they don’t want them.
“They didn’t want to listen to me at all,” she said.
We found Mahad Abdi driving his cab all around St. Louis despite being banned. He drives a van marked Royal Taxi. It also says “supervisor.” Though he lives in Arnold, he got his license plate from Illinois. Public records show he registered his plate illegally to a UPS store in Belleville.
We caught up with him in south St. Louis. During a 13-minute adrenaline-fueled conversation, Abdi said the bottom line is he’s ok because you can find him on Google.
The Taxi Commission says they’ve ticketed Abdi many times for giving illegal rides and that's all they can do.
The man who feared Abdi after being taken in the opposite direction? He’s still charged for what he says he did to escape Abdi. I’ve asked prosecutors to look at all the facts in this case and get back to me. We will follow up when we get an answer.