Marina Cracchiolo of Detroit experienced the cab ride from hell after leaving an event related to her social media job at the WXYZ news station.
She took the $15 drive to her destination, but when it came time to pay, the driver refused to take her credit card.
“I went to go hand him my credit card, he said it’s cash only, no credit. I said, sir, you didn’t tell me that,” Marina explained to the reporters at WXYZ. “He tried to reach for my purse. He said, ‘I know you have cash in there. Get me some cash.'”
Feeling nervous, Marina tried to reason with the driver and explain that she had cash in her apartment, but he became very aggressive.
“I just really wanted to get out of the car. I was really frightened at this point, so I tried to open the caravan door, and the door was locked,” she said.
Apparently, the driver even followed up his demands with a threat, saying “You’re not going anywhere until you give me cash.”
The cabdriver then began taking her to a nearby ATM in an abandoned parking lot so she could get some there, but Marina wanted to be closer to people in case anything happened.
That’s when she told the driver to take her to 7-Eleven instead. She tricked him into taking her there so she could get help inside — and it worked.
She immediately told the clerk inside 7-Eleven what was happening, and he called 911.
Marina still paid the driver the required amount, but first asked to see his ID through the car’s window, which made him even more aggressive toward her.
“I thought they had to have their license or chauffeur’s license displayed,” Marina explained. “In any other city I’ve lived in, it was required. He said my company knows who I am. He started getting aggressive.”
Luckily, the cabdriver drove off once he received his money and the police who eventually arrived took Marina home.
Shockingly, Marina soon learned that, according to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, a chauffer’s license is not required for a driver of a cab with eight or fewer passengers. The driver is additionally not required to display his name or ID anywhere in the cab.
Todd Bettison, deputy chief of the Detroit Police, told WXYZ that changes were made in legislation so that cabdrivers were put “on the same level as Uber and Lyft drivers.”
He warns riders that there are still ways to feel safe when taking cabs. “Ask to see their ID and make sure the person who is driving this vehicle is who they say they are,” he said. “They should have no problem displaying their ID to you […] and you should ask what forms of payment do they accept.”
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Photos and footage provided by WXYZ Detroit
Smaller Photo: Wikimedia Commons / MASA
CORRECTION: February 14, 2018
An earlier version of this story and its headline referred to the convenience store as “7-11.” It’s 7-Eleven.
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