MILWAUKEE — What seemed like a nice thing to do almost turned into a deadly decision by a Milwaukee cab driver early Friday morning, April 27th.
Michael Harris, a driver for American United Taxi in Milwaukee had just dropped off a customer when he came across a disabled car in the intersection of 20th and Vine. The driver slowed down, and asked a man if he needed help when the man quickly became enraged and attacked Harris’ cab with a two-by-four.
“I went from a situation that hey, maybe somebody is going to need a cab ride,” Harris said. “To a point where I’m battling for my life.”
Police say the suspect is 45 and was arrested for criminal damage to property.
At first, Harris says he thought the man had a gun as he reached awkwardly into his jacket. Then, Harris realized the only weapon he had was a two-by-four with nails in it. As the man began pummeling the cab, Harris tried to pull away and told the man that he was going to call police.
That’s when the man’s anger escalated and he began breaking the windows of the cab. Video from cameras in the car captured part of the attack and recorded the attacker yelling obscenities at the cab driver as he continued to hit the car with the piece of wood.
“He kept saying ‘you better get out of here cab driver,’” Harris recalled. “’117, I know your cab number. I’m going to kill you.’”
Harris escaped injury, but his cab was severely damaged. All the windows were broken or damaged as was the roof, the rear bumper and the hood.
While he had the opportunity to leave the scene, he stayed to make sure the man was arrested by police.
“I had the ability to drive off, but I just felt this guy was a menace to society and needed to be taken off the streets,” Harris said.