Updated 02/16/2011 10:15 AM
Livery Driver Stabbed In Melee Speaks Out Against Police
The livery cab driver who was allegedly carjacked by a serial stabber in Brooklyn this past weekend says police handcuffed him while he was at the hospital receiving stitches. NY1's Tina Redwine filed the following report.
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Police say the man who burst into Fitz Fullerton's livery cab early Saturday morning was Maksim Gelman, who was in the middle of a deadly 28-hour rampage.
"A lady was in the car. He forced his way into the car and said, 'Get the [expletive] over, get the [expletive] over.' And the lady ran through the other door," said Fullerton.
The cab driver said the man threatened him with something held to his neck.
"He say, 'Keep driving, keep driving," said Fullerton.
After a few minutes, Fullerton had had enough, so he says he stopped the car on St Marks.
"I hear, 'I’m going to murder you,' when I feel the thing in my neck back," said Fullerton.
The driver grabbed at what he thought was a gun, but turned out to be a knife, which cut his hand.
"We were wrestling with the knife," said Fullerton.
He was stabbed through his mouth and chin.
"I’m fighting for my life. When he realized he couldn't get me, he just ran out of the car and ran down the block," said Fullerton.
Once Fullerton arrived at Brookdale Hospital, another nightmare began. He says police handcuffed and shackled him to a bed because of a warrant from family court.
"I lie down there with a cuff and a shackle and they stitch me up," said Fullerton.
He was released from the hospital around 8:30 a.m. Sunday, when he says police took him to the 73rd Police Precinct, and kept him there for more than seven hours.
At 4 p.m. Fullerton says they took him home just long enough to shower and then to the 61st Police Precinct to identify Gelman in a line-up.
"I believe I was treated like an animal," said Fullerton.
Now Fullerton wants an apology and financial compensation from the New York City Police Department. His attorney, Eric Ward, says Fullerton is deciding whether to sue.
"Somebody should have seen this was a man who fought off someone who was involved in a murderous rampage. He could have been a witness for them," said Ward. "He was an important witness for them and instead he ended up in shackles and handcuffs and ended up in jail. Something went terribly wrong here."
An NYPD spokesperson said the warrant for Fullerton has been vacated, but the department did not comment late Tuesday on how police handled the situation or whether there will be an apology.