A Muslim cab driver was sentenced to three years in prison today for recklessly ramming his taxi into two passengers as they insisted he had to drive them from Midtown to The Bronx. In begging unsuccessfully for a no-jail sentence, Mohammed Azam, 29, described himself as an “upstanding Muslim immigrant who’d come to America in pursuit of the American dream.”
NY Post (h/t Jesse P) “I am asking for mercy, your honor,” Azam pleaded, his voice quavering. But the judge noted that Azam had lied on the stand when he claimed, among other things, that he believed victim Anthony Loreto was well enough to stand right up again after suffering multiple, life-threatening head fractures.
“In a fit of pique, Mr. Azam, you significantly diminished the quality of this young man’s life,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Daniel FitzGerald said.
Defense lawyer Gary Sunden had cited Azam’s regret and hard work ethic as a medical student in asking for leniency. A jury had acquitted Azam in early May of far more serious charges, including attempted murder, the lawyer noted.
But Azam still left Loreto to die on the pavement of West 54th Street, and then blatantly lied about believing the bleeding and seizing man had stood up and moved toward the taxi again, said prosecutor Gregory SanGermano.
As a med student, “He was in the position better than anyone else to get him medical treatment” and to recognize the seriousness of his injuries, the ADA said. “He didn’t even make an anonymous 911 call,” the prosecutor said.