Fight in taxi leads to crash, stabbing in Rye

A fight between a cab driver and his passenger overnight in Rye led to the taxi crashing into a tree and the passenger being treated for multiple stab wounds.

A fight between a cab driver and his passenger overnight in Rye led to the taxi crashing into a tree and the passenger being treated for multiple stab wounds. (1/13/17)

RYE - A fight between a cab driver and his passenger overnight in Rye led to the taxi crashing into a tree and the passenger being treated for multiple stab wounds.

Police say the taxi slammed into a tree at the intersection of Highland Road and Purchase Street just before 1:30 a.m. Friday.

An eyewitness tells News 12 he was walking his dog when he saw the taxi coasting through the intersection with one door open. After the cab slammed into the tree, the witness says he saw a man fall out of the cab. He says another man inside the cab got out, and the two men started fighting. The witness says police pulled up immediately and separated the two men. One man was put into a police cruiser and the other man, who was covered in blood, was treated by EMTs and taken to the hospital with stab wounds.

After questioning, police determined the fight started when the men argued over which route to take and the fare. During the fight, police say the driver, Frankie Phelps, 61, tried to throw the 29-year old Rye man out of the cab while it was moving. They say Phelps used a knife to stab the man in the chest, arm and head.

Police have not released the victim's name, but say he was taken to Westchester Medical Center with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Phelps is facing charges of first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he could get up to 25 years in prison.

The taxi is from Mount Vernon-based Reliable Taxi Company. News 12 tried to reach out to the company, but has not yet heard back.

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